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Depth and breadth: supporting start-up social entrepreneurs in Asia

August 16, 2016

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Just before joining the AVPN Annual Conference this year in Hong Kong, I had the pleasure to facilitate a daylong meeting with GSEN members and discuss some of the hot topics, evolutions of their work and trends in the impact ecosystem in Asia. The following perspectives are a personal summary of discussions and insights of GSEN members present in Hong Kong end of May: Change Fusion (Thailand), CSIP (Vietnam and Mekong countries), NPI (China), SE Insights (Taiwan), Scope UnLtd (Malaysia), UnLtd Hong Kong, UnLtd India, and UnLtd Indonesia.

Key strengths and focus areas:

  • The power of small: GSEN members too are addressing the (sometimes overhyped) need for scale. They are collectively supporting thousands of social entrepreneurs around the world. Most of these entrepreneurs are currently creating impact at a grassroots or community level, and/or at small scale, but summed up their impact is huge. If these entrepreneurs get the support they need at the early stages of their journey, their potential to create large scale change is infinite. At the moment their ventures are small, but many small streams make one big river…
  • Supporting people behind the ventures: because it is people who lead successful ventures. GSEN members strongly focus on mobilising great social capital and technical advice to develop the skills and business acumen of the founders and the team leading the social ventures. In some countries where the social entrepreneurship scene is driven and heavily subsidised by public authorities there can be tendency to focus on numbers and outputs delivered, rather than on impact and long-term sustainability. It is therefore important for policy makers and others to be careful, and not implement market/ impact distorting actions, and seek guidance from experienced organisations (such as GSEN members) who know what quality support looks like, before launching new national programmes.

You can read Krisztina Tora’s blog in full here on Pioneers Post.

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