Our Story

Founded by individuals who believe in equitable education for every child, Octava Foundation’s work began in Singapore in 2016. Today, the Foundation takes a social innovation lens in funding and supporting programs in Singapore and the Asia region, focusing on the education and student finance domains

Foundation Adopts a New Impact Roadmap

Having supported programs across the education and transition to work continuum since our inception in 2016, we have chosen to deepen our impact through investing in two key domains in Singapore from 2021:

Education:

By addressing the disadvantage gap in education by supporting Primary school-aged children to succeed in achieving their education and developmental goals.

Student Finance:

Through strengthening both our Study Awards programs and Enrichment and Support program for Study Awards recipients.

Octava Social Innovation Fund Launched

We extended our mission and impact to the region. The Octava Social Innovation Fund is our index initiative, focusing on supporting early stage social innovation solutions in South-East Asia. We invest through grants and technical capacity building in three domains:

Education Innovation

Student Finance

Special Projects

Taking Stock of Impact Made

Since our inception, we have partnered over 30 social purpose organisations and supported 24 programs in Singapore in delivering positive outcomes to over 7,000 children and youth in the domain areas of:

  • Education and non-cognitive outcomes for children
  • Vocational training and employability for youths
  • Access to student finance for tertiary education

Funding Initiative for IHL Students Impacted by COVID-19 Kickstarted

A response to the COVID-19 crisis, we created the E2 Fund – an emergency short-term finance scheme for students enrolled in Singapore-based Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs) aimed at enabling youth who have exhausted all other avenues of financial support to continue with their education.

New Horizons – Octava’s First International Program Funded

We embarked on our first overseas grant, working in partnership with our co-funder Lorinet Foundation to provide a 3-year unrestricted grant towards OneSky’s interventions for children of migrants in Vietnam.

 

In line with a request from the Vietnamese government, our grant support enabled OneSky to pilot home-based care providers’ training, parenting classes, and an online learning platform designed to deliver critical education outcomes for migrant children with the potential to scale impact in Vietnam’s burgeoning industrial zones.

Clarion Call for Solutions at a National Level

Our Singapore-based grant call named Dare to Dream was launched, with the aim to garner program proposals with solution and partnership potential. Geared towards serving our target populations of underserved children and youth, solutions welcomed focused on delivering the desired outcomes of:

  • Improved education and employment attainment;
  • Positive development of social-emotional assets;
  • Acquirement of vocational work and work-readiness skills; and
  • The enablement of stable and nurturing home environments

Championing Collective Impact Locally

Venturing into alternative models of grantmaking, we committed to a 3-year funding support of Singapore’s first collective impact – the Singapore Youth Impact Collective.

 

Alongside co-funders Changi Foundation and Credit Suisse, we joined hands with coordinating backbone organisation Singapore Community Foundation and program implementors Institute of Technical Education, SHINE Children’s and Youth Services, and TOUCH Community Services to empower underserved youth in their transition from classroom to corporate lives.

Commencement of Study Awards Program

We launched our Study Awards program by contributing our first endowed donation to Singapore Management University to support bursaries in perpetuity. Soon after, we made our first term donation to Temasek Polytechnic to support scholarships for promising students who required financial assistance to complete their tertiary education. This sparked the birth of one of our key grantmaking verticals – Student Finance.

Our Beginnings

Founded in 2016, Octava Foundation was registered as Company Limited by Guarantee in August that year and became a registered charity with grantmaker status in March 2017.