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Social Enterprises in Asia: An Introductory Guide

May 13, 2014

Over the decades, social enterprises (SEs) have gained increased recognition for their ability to bring about fair and equitable social transformations. Their unique models provide an additional mode of engagement for individuals and institutions interested in addressing social issues.Social enterprises (SEs) take the form of a non-profit or for-profit and vary in size and structure but what unites all SEs is their business approach to social change. Instead of maximizing profits, SEs apply market practices to maximizing impact and strive to optimize finances in support of their social or environmental missions. SEs form an integral role in a larger social innovation sector -- they act as on-the-ground implementers of social solutions.Early social entrepreneurs in Asia tended to be foreigners or returning patriates, but homegrown Asian social entrepreneurs are now more common. Some of the world's largest and most well known SEs, like Grameen Bank and BRAC Enterprises, got their start in Asia.It is difficult to state the number of SEs there are in Asia since SEs are so diverse in their nature and scope of activities. Because of the relatively recent introduction of the term, many organizations may not even self-identify as a social enterprise even though they function as one.As Asia continues to undergo drastic social, demographic, and economic changes, SEs can play a role to ensure that future Asian growth is inclusive and sustainable. SEs reach underserved communities, linking them to products and services that enhance their quality of life and income generation ability. However, a number of issues must be addressed before SEs can become a part of mainstream Asian economies and societies.

Grantmaking in China: Common Challenges for International Donors

September 1, 2013

Many individual and corporate donors are interested in supporting charitable projects in China. Unfortunately, making grants to foreign organizations can be challenging, and China's unique legal environment creates an additional layer of complexity to the process.As it stands today, civil society there is underdeveloped and heightened governmental regulations can be difficult to navigate. Cultural misunderstandings and language barriers also routinely complicate relationships with local organizations. The philanthropic process is further convoluted by US regulations governing international grants.This guide lays out some of the issues faced by donors in making grants to organizations in China.Donors face many challenges when making grants to organizations in China. Some of the main issues to consider include:(1) registration and types of organizations;(2) SAFE regulations;(3) corruption and lack of transparency;(4) government control and direction; and(5) language and cultural issues.

Education in India: An Overview of Challenges and Philanthropic Opportunities

August 20, 2013

India's young population and productive workforce are a remarkable asset to the country, but large gaps in the education sector hinder it from realizing the true potential of this gift. Where are the needs and how can donors help?

The 2% CSR Clause: New Requirements for Companies in India

June 1, 2013

Upcoming changes to the 57-year old Companies Act of 1956 will force over 2,500 companies in India to re-think their approach to CSR. What pressures does this place on companies and how can they best respond?

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: What Companies Need to Know

June 1, 2013

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was enacted in response to U.S. corporations bribing foreign government officials. While originally enacted to restore confidence in U.S. businesses acting abroad, the FCPA also applies to charitable contributions, grantmaking intermediaries, and nonprofit organizations.

Impact Investing: Trends and Outlook in Asia

May 1, 2013

Interest in impact investments is growing worldwide, with Asia in particular holding great promise for innovation. But who are impact investors and what causes do they support? Which organizations are working in this sector?