Interview with our Mentor - Dr Kelvin Tan

Interview with our Mentor - Dr Kelvin Tan
“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” — John Crosby 

Sustaining a business is challenging during the pandemic. Sustaining Social Enterprises is even more challenging. Apart from being financially sustainable, we also have to stay committed to the social impact and be sustainable to the environment.  

This Teacher’s Day we would like to dedicate and thank our mentor, Dr Kelvin Tan. He has helped us tremendously to grow stronger and better as a social enterprise.

We would also like to thank all the teachers & mentors who have dedicated their time and efforts to nurture the pillars of tomorrow, Happy Teacher’s Day 🥰

Read on to see how Mr  Kelvin Tan from SUSS helps Social Gifting ride through the storm during this challenging period.



Can you tell us more about yourself and your role as our mentor?

I am lecturing in SUSS in Gerontology and the innovation programme. Mentoring startups and students in venture building initiatives are an important part of the learning and growing together in this globally connected world accelerated by the relentless pace of technology. We exchange new ideas, networks, articles, and research from around the world. At any one time, someone is doing something interesting which we can tap on to make a better product or service. With social media connectivity, it is always a buzzing place for such synapses to fire up.

Outside of teaching, I do community volunteer work to learn more about the challenges of Singaporeans and how we can level up their quality of life.

What inspired you to be a mentor?

I had my own startup and also led the corporate innovations/accelerator programme NUS Enterprise. I have always enjoyed the interactions with interns and startup founders. It is especially exciting when we get to see the birth of new prototypes and ideas which can benefit more people around. Always a wonderful thing to make the world a better place with more empowerment.

What are some of your favorite moments with Social Gifting?

Valen and team have done great work for the community. Through the unwavering efforts of meeting more corporates to match the special crafters under her wing, the startup has experienced success. My favorite moments are to hear anything they are doing. Not everything will work out but, each attempt is progress of moving forward and reaching out to the community.

It was wonderful to visit her home and workplace running the operation for interns to work with Social Gifting as well as a store for many creative handicrafts. Each piece is the effort of a crafter knitting or sewing a piece of their dream. In many ways, these artisans are illuminating the lives of someone else. So, I find every moment as magical and favourite!


Thank you Dr Kelvin for dedicating to nurture pillars of tomorrow! 

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