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DBS to mark nation’s 50th year with $50m foundation – AsiaOne

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DBS to mark nation’s 50th year with $50m foundation – AsiaOne

Yasmine Yahya

The Straits Times

Saturday, Feb 15, 2014

SINGAPORE – DBS Bank is setting up a $ 50 million foundation to help nurture social enterprises, provide disaster relief and undertake more community work across the region.

The foundation is being established in conjunction with Singapore50, the movement encouraging Singaporeans to come up with novel ideas to mark the country’s 50th birthday next year.

Its objectives will likely evolve over time, but in the foreseeable future it plans to support innovative social initiatives.

DBS said it is likely that the foundation will help to at least double the amount of grants and funding support it can give to social enterprises. It has provided over $ 1.8 million in grants to 56 such firms in Asia since 2012.

The foundation will also provide relief and support to communities in need, including donations in times of natural disasters or crises.

The move comes as many societies around the world grapple with the issue of income inequality, said DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta on Wednesday.

“Like it or not, there’s going to be a fundamental change in the nature of jobs; the kind of jobs people do and the kind of jobs that are available… This issue of income inequality and the haves and have-nots is actually going to be exacerbated over coming periods of time.”

Businesses have to play a part to solve such problems, he added.

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