We Care Network lends support to businesses affected by COVID-19

Photo by Oleg Magni

The People’s Association (PA) organised a special edition Project We Care Dialogue on 22 October 2020. Themed #EmergeStronger, the event provided a platform where business leaders under the Project We Care Network exchanged ideas and shared business solutions amidst their concerns and challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Project We Care Network is PA’s Network of private sector partners who give back to the community through PA’s programmes and initiatives. Besides doing their part for society, Project We Care also sees the partnering corporates come together during regular initiatives to co-create solutions and share best practices with each other, such as at this introductory dialogue.

The dialogue session, which was held in a hybrid format, connected over 80 business leaders virtually as well as 50 business leaders onsite at the PA’s headquarters. Minister Chan Chun Sing, Deputy Chairman of PA was joined by two other panellists; Mr Ted Tan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore and Dr Michael Fung, Deputy Chief Executive (Industry) of SkillsFuture Singapore, at the plenary discussion where they exchanged views and shared with delegates on the available schemes to support businesses affected by COVID-19.

As part of the dialogue, delegates participated in breakout discussions addressing three key topics; 1) Manpower & Employability, 2) Business Resourcing & Remodelling and, 3) Digitalisation & Innovation. Representatives from SkillsFuture Singapore as well as SME Centre@ASME also shared on available schemes and provided consultation support to delegates.

The discussions gave an insight to how businesses could leverage each other through peer-to-peer learning and sharing, which PA hoped to encourage through a Project We Care Corporate Support Group. This would be the first support group facilitated by PA and Project We Care to show solidarity towards the business community that had implemented meaningful programmes to benefit the vulnerable.

This initiative aimed to create opportunities and platforms for corporates, especially businesses that had been adversely affected by COVID-19; to exchange business concerns, perspectives, ideas and networks to co-curate solutioning and collaborative ideas while encouraging support and partnership amongst businesses.

Following today’s dialogue, PA will continue to facilitate and connect participating companies and government agencies through workgroups, based on the ideas that had been seeded at the dialogue. Besides providing access to available government support where needed, these workgroups would have the support of companies that had pivoted and transformed themselves successfully to share their experiences and guide others in their business recovery roadmap, as they work hand-in-hand to co-plan and co-design initiatives.

Ms Wee Wei Ling, Chairperson of Project We Care, shared on how the Project We Care Network can aid the business community during this difficult period,

“Since it was established in 2012, Project We Care has taken on the role of an enabler, gathering corporates with varied expertise on one network to do good for the community. This same strength that has embodied Project We Care over the years has provided us the opportunity to give back to the business community by creating a channel where network members can share and learn from one another – best practices and solutioning that can be emulated and adapted as corporates navigate their businesses through a new normal economy.”

In his closing remark, Mr Stanley Tan, Chairperson of the Project We Care Dialogue said, “The dialogue session has reiterated the importance of right-matching available schemes according to the needs of the organisations. For instance, organisations may be ready to pivot their businesses to suit the current environment but may lack resources for capability building. This is how PA and Project We Care can come in to facilitate and connect these businesses to the relevant government agencies so that they can access the support to build up their capabilities and start off their business recovery roadmap.”