Corporate Social Responsibility

Business Families Empowering Grassroots Enterprises


We-Empower Ltd is a non-profit that is working to change the face of entrepreneurship in the Asean region. We empower business families to empower grassroot enterprises in inter-related industries, so the entire community thrives. We work to ensure we all become stakeholders in each other’s futures.

Why WE?

The “We” in We-Empower stands for “We”-Entrepreneurship. This is distinct from the traditional, heroic “I”-entrepreneurship, which involves only individual entrepreneurs.

 “I”-entrepreneurship has enabled economic growth, but not well-being. This is no longer relevant in a world beset with complex, interconnected, and intractable problems such as climate change, resource scarcity and social polarisation

What is the solution? Business families empowering grassroot enterprises

We must create truly inclusive, sustained, growth. One where everybody “wins”.

We-Empower does so by convening different, sometimes traditionally competitive, groups together to form an ecosystem that can create restorative economics. We break down artificial dualities and eschew “us” vs “them” dynamics that have defined modern capitalism to help businesses move towards what we call “stakeholder capitalism”. This is when the entire ecosystem and community benefits from entrepreneurial activities.

Our focal point is on business families because of the impact they represent. They already have reach, resources, expertise and organisational structures with multiple generations of leaders who can help grassroot enterprises succeed. In doing so, they will help the entire community, and their own businesses, thrive.

How do we do this? Multi-disciplinary partnership

We-Empower works with successful business families to amplify their resources to help grassroot enterprises thrive. Our multi-disciplinary approach sees us bringing them together with different partners with different expertise to create lasting impact. This includes higher education partners who can provide a platform for research and knowledge sharing and other funders looking to co-fund projects for scalable impact.

Our focus will be on working with grassroot enterprises in the region which can provide positive impact in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) areas. The goal will be to create restorative economics and regenerative ecologies.

Only then can we all become stakeholders in each other’s futures.


June 6, 2023- MOU signed between WE-Empower and higher education partner SUSS

WE-Empower Ltd signed on its first higher education partner when it inked an MOU with the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) in June 2023. The initiative aims to foster meaningful collaborations between business families and grassroots enterprises in the ASEAN region through philanthropic giving, student internships/entrepreneurship, applied research, and relationship building.

The collaboration between WE-Empower Ltd and SUSS will also encourage business families and the growing Family Office sector to contribute to the social good in their home countries and the region, creating family legacies that make a positive impact. (Link MOU Press Release)

On July 27, 2023 – Signing ceremony between WE-Empower and SUSS

In his keynote speech to mark the event, former Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam outlined the significance of bringing together business families, industry practitioners and knowledge partners and others.

The signing event saw the MOU culminated into a signing agreement attended by approximately 100 guests in attendance, including academics and administrators from SUSS and IAL (Institute for Adult Learning), business families, representatives from family foundations, corporate leaders, grassroots entrepreneurs, student entrepreneurs, and members of the media.  The Guest-of-Honour for the event was Mr. Tharman SHANMUGARATNAM, Former Senior Minister, highlighting the significance of the collaboration between academia and industry. 

On July 27, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) culminated in a signing agreement, which was attended by approximately 100 guests. The attendees included academia and administrators from SUSS and IAL (Institute for Adult Learning), business families, foundations, corporate leaders, grassroots entrepreneurs, student entrepreneurs, and members of the media. The event was graced by former Senior Minister of Singapore, Mr. Tharman SHANMUGARATNAM who grace the event as the Guest-of-Honour. For more information, please refer to the press release linked

(Link to Press Release)

(From left) Ms Justina Tan (Associate Professor), Associate Vice-President, Strategic Partnership & Engagement, SUSS; Professor Robbie Goh, Provost, SUSS; Mr Shekaran Krishnan, Member, SUSS Board of Trustees; Professor Tan Tai Yong, President, SUSS; Guest-of-Honour, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Former Senior Minister of Singapore; His Excellency Suryo Pratomo, Ambassador of Indonesia; Mr and Mrs Charles Menaro, donors; WE-Empower; Professor Shih Choon Fong, Non-Executive Chairman, WE-Empower; Melvyn Goh, Chief Executive Officer, WE-Empower; Mr Leng Lim, Chief Programme Officer, WE-Empower and Mr Chew Kheng Chuan, Special Advisor, WE-Empower at the master collaboration agreement signing ceremony between SUSS and WE-Empower to launch a first-of-its-kind partnership for business families to empower grassroots enterprises in ASEAN.

Business Families Empowering Grassroots Enterprises Signing Ceremony
For your convenience, we have included key information of the event below.

Event Details 

Date 27 July 2023, Thursday

10.30am – 12pm
Networking reception to follow


Singapore University of Social Sciences
Blk B, Level 3, Auditorium B.3.06
463 Clementi Road
Singapore 599494

Please refer to the attached for the driving directions.

 Complimentary parking coupon is available for our guests at the registration counter.


Dress code Business Attire (Jacket without Tie)


10.00 am Registration of Guests
10.30 am Welcome and Opening Remarks
10.35 am

Address by Professor Tan Tai Yong,
President, Singapore University of Social Sciences

10.45 am

Address by Professor Shih Choon Fong,
Non-Executive Chairman, WE-Empower Ltd

10.55 am

Keynote Address by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam,
Former Senior Minister of Singapore

11.15 am

Collaboration Agreement Signing Ceremony between
Professor Tan Tai Yong,
President, Singapore University of Social Sciences
Mr Melvyn Goh,
Chief Executive Officer, WE-Empower Ltd

11.25 am

Presentation of Token of Appreciation to Donor
Mr Bapak Charles Menaro representing The Menaro Family

11.35 am

Closing Remarks by Mr Leng Leroy Lim,
Chief Programme Officer, WE-Empower Ltd:
Becoming Stakeholders in Each Other’s Future

12.00 pm Networking Reception

In case you need to contact us, please feel free to reach out to Ms K Zin Myo (SUSS Advancement Office) at
We look forward to seeing you soon.

Warm regards,
The Organising Committee

Photography and videography will be carried out during this event for archival and marketing purposes. SUSS and WE-Empower Ltd may use some or all of these images/videos in their print publications, digital platforms and marketing channels. 


Prof Shih Choon Fong

Prof Shih Choon Fong

Non-Executive Chairman

Shih Choon Fong is currently University Professor at NUS and Senior Advisor to the President of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS). received his MS and PhD from Harvard University. Shih earned a diploma in Engineering from Singapore Polytechnic.

Professor Shih served as NUS President from 2000–2008, and subsequently as Founding President of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) from 2008-2013.  Over the years, Shih served and continues to serve on various advisory boards and councils including IAB, MIT, Stanford University, Peking University, SUSTech, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, American University of Sharjah, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, among others.

For his innovative research and leadership in higher education, Shih received the Irwin Medal (1986), Swedlow Award (1998), French Order of the Legion d’Honneur (2005), Inaugural Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for Advancement and Support for Education (2007), and Chinese Academy of Sciences Medal of Honor (2019) among others and received Honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Brown University, Waseda University and Loughborough University.  (Partial lists).

In 2016, an international symposium was held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in honor of Shih on his 70th birthday. In 2018, he received Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Centennial Medal for his innovative research and leadership in higher education.

Shih has served on national committees and boards in Singapore such as the Economic Review Committee which developed wide-ranging strategies for re-making Singapore chaired by then DPM Lee Hsien Loong.

[ July 2023 ]

Melvyn Goh

Melvyn Goh

Chief Executive Officer

Leng Lim

Leng Lim

Chief Programme Officer

Chew Kheng Chuan

Chew Kheng Chuan

Special Advisor

Chew Kheng Chuan, is an independent consultant in philanthropy. He is an advocate of the arts in Singapore and a board member of the Intercultural Theatre Institute (ITI) founded by Kuo Pao Kun and T. Sasitharan. He was on the board of The Substation Ltd, an independent centre for the arts, from 1995 to 2021, the last 20 years its chairman. He is also co-chairman of the Harvard Alumni Interviewing Committee for Singapore. He was president of the Harvard Club of Singapore from 2015 to 2020. He studied at Harvard College and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

He has been acknowledged as one of the most successful fundraisers in Asia in the field of private philanthropy; a founding director of the NUS Development Office and later vice-president, Endowment & Institutional Development at NUS (2003-2008). He was the Chief University Advancement Officer at Nanyang Technological University from 2009 -2012.

In 2023 he co-edited A Shift In The Wind, Function 8 Ltd, 2023. He is co-author of  Chew Boon Lay: A Family Traces Its History, on his great grandfather the immigrant pioneer. He also contributed the chapter “Chinese Philanthropy, Past and Present” in Pang Cheng Lian, ed. 50 Years of the Chinese Community in [Singapore, World Scientific Publishing Co, 2016.

[ July 2023 ]

WE-Empower Ltd is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of Succession Advisory Partners. WE-Empower Ltd is a public company limited by guarantee incorporated in Singapore and having its registered address at 23 New Industrial Road, #04-08/09 Solstice Business Center, Singapore 536209