Photo credit: TOO FANG NING


Youth Action Challenge (YAC) is a platform for youth to provide solutions that tackle the issues we are concerned about. Since October 2021, over 80 teams and more than 310 youths have undertaken the YAC Season 3 journey.

Fang Ning, 21, is an Environmental Studies major at the National University of Singapore. She has joined various initiatives on circular economy and sustainable waste management strategies such as the NEA “Recycle Right” campaign, where she conducted observational studies on recycling behaviour of mall patrons.

Under Insect Feed Technologies, she led the business development and execution of sustainability workshops for educational institutions. Previously, she worked with the NUS Experimental Marine Ecology Lab on eco-engineering initiatives to enhance the biodiversity of seawalls in Singapore using eco-engineering. Right now, she is working on the habitat enhancement of blue spaces at West Coast Park as a Youth Steward for Nature with NParks.

Today she shares more about the project!

What was your role within your YAC project?

As the team lead, I coordinated the team’s workflows and oversaw progress towards our targets. I also liaise closely with the YAC mentors to gather their feedback on our proposals and ensure that it was integrated into our work.

What motivated you to join YAC?

I was drawn in by the chance to share and develop an innovative idea which could have a positive impact on the environment. Being interested in green solutions and innovation, it was a huge opportunity that was too good to pass up!

Can you share with us your experience with your YAC project?

The YAC project took place over about four months, during which I attended workshops where I learnt about the crucial aspects of starting a business: market analysis, product validation and unique value propositions. It was definitely daunting at first! However, the process went much more smoothly after the first few weeks of discussions and ideation.

What are some challenges you faced while working on your YAC project?

I had never joined a pitching event before YAC and it was a bit overwhelming at the start. To overcome these challenges, I created a timeline after having a discussion with the team about our goals. I also split the team members according to their strengths so that we had two members looking at market research and strategy while the other two members were looking at product development.

Could you share more on how your project has a positive impact?

This project is centred around creating Singapore’s first sustainable pet food made from the black soldier fly. Our project aims to feed the world sustainably by changing how the current food production system works. The consumption of food waste by black soldier flies will increase sustainable management of food waste by diverting it away from landfills. This reduces the pressure on our Pulau Semakau landfill, which is projected to be filled by 2035. Our project also reduces the pressure of resource constraints such as land scarcity by providing a cost-effective and sustainable solution.

Were there any key takeaways or learning points from your time with YAC?

A key learning point was that entrepreneurship and marketing are tools that can help to elevate the message of sustainability. Innovation and sustainability are not separate, and can complement each other to create new sustainable systems that can shape our future.

This article was published on Apr 3, 2022

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