SOCIAL INNOVATION AND SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship are steadily being recognised as the answer to complex social needs by bringing novel solutions to tackle myriad social problems. The social innovation and social entrepreneurship landscapes in Asia are vibrant, rich, variegated and complex. Sustaining this cross-sectoral ecosystem calls for institutions of higher learning to take on the increasingly important role in incubating entrepreneurial leaders and steer the formation of a socially conscious new economy.

PUBLIC PERCEPTION STUDY ON SOCIAL ENTERPRISES IN SINGAPORE

Swee-Sum Lam and Weina Zhang

In 2016, the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE) commissioned the Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy (ACSEP) at NUS Business School to conduct a second public perception survey on social enterprises in Singapore. The purpose of the survey is to obtain insights into how public awareness and understanding of social enterprises and buying from these entities have changed since 2010 when the Social Enterprise Association (SEA) conducted the first public perception survey. Hence, whenever possible in this report, we will compare the results from the 2016 survey to those from the 2010 survey. The 2016 survey recorded a total of 1,888 valid responses which makes the sample similar in size to that of the 2010 survey which recorded a total of 2,000 responses.

ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL ENTERPRISES: AN EXPLORATION OF THE METHODS AND CRITERIA USED BY IMPACT INVESTORS AND PHILANTHROPISTS IN ASIA

Frank Roeland Hubers

This study explores how social investors in Asia measure the social impact of their investments. It contains two main sections. The first section provides an overview of the literature on social impact measurement, with a specific focus on impact assessment for social enterprises. The second section explores how investors and foundations measure and report on their social impact. Relying on publicly disclosed data, like corporate websites, evaluation reports and annual reports, I analysed the standards and practices of 77 investors and foundations. The organisations in this sample all make decisions about the allocation of funds — whether these are grants, equity or loans — to social-purpose organisations. The organisations are either grant-making foundations or impact investors that invest in social enterprises, and are operating in Asia.

A PILOT STUDY ON SINGAPORE’S SOCIAL ENTERPRISES: CHARACTERISTICS AND PERFORMANCE

Achsah Ang, Swee-Sum Lam and Weina Zhang

With the increase in sources of seed funding and publicity from beneficiaries in recent years, stakeholders in the social sector, especially donors and policymakers, are more seriously considering social enterprises as a potentially viable response to meeting social needs in the community. However, legitimacy issues persist, raising barriers to funding, sustainability and success for social enterprises. To gain a better understanding of the characteristics of social enterprises and their performance, the Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy (ACSEP) conducted a pilot study on Singapore’s social enterprises between October 2014 and May 2015. We evaluated the extent to which these enterprises align with the five defining characteristics distilled from the Community Consultative Circle hosted by ACSEP in July 2014. Our study identified several areas for improvement for social enterprises in the sample group, including information disclosure, corporate governance, social performance measurement and sustainable growth. Although the sample size is quite limited in this pilot study, we hope that our findings may still provide some implications for the social sector at large, particularly with regard to the development of the sector, the state of social enterprises, and the attendant training and development needs of social enterprises and the sector.

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP 2017

Keynote speech, Plenary Session, four papers

Proceedings

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP 2016

Keynote speech, Plenary Session, six papers

Proceedings

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP 2015

Keynote speech, Plenary Session, six papers

Proceedings

FINDING A COMMON LANGUAGE FOR SOCIAL ENTERPRISES IN SINGAPORE

Swee-Sum Lam, Roshini Prakash and Pauline Tan

Social enterprises are present-day business solutions to unmet social needs. Their business models and organisational forms are contextually determined within the prevailing socio-economic, legal and political regimes of a community, country or region. Unless they innovate to meet evolving needs, social enterprises lose their relevance over time. As such, it is necessary for stakeholders in Singapore to make sense of what is or is not a social enterprise and to conduct periodic reviews instead of imitating models from other countries or regions.

CASE COLLECTION ON PHILIPPINES (2012)

Swee-Sum Lam, Leland Dela Cruz, David Jeremiah Seah and Gabriel Henry Jacob

Social development interventions have traditionally been associated with governmental and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs). But in recent years, there has been an increasing recognition that market actors can also make significant contributions to addressing social problems beyond traditional corporate social responsibility practices, philanthropy and employee volunteerism.

LANDSCAPE OF SOCIAL ENTERPRISES IN SINGAPORE

Roshini Prakash and Pauline Tan

The buzz around social enterprises in Singapore is growing louder and more insistent. Yet one does not have to scratch too far beneath the surface of this energy and enthusiasm to realise that there is little consensus even amongst the most ardent supporters on what the primary characteristics of an organisation that calls itself a social enterprise are or should be. In this study, the authors explore the diverse landscape and ecosystem that have developed since the first known social enterprises appeared in Singapore almost 90 years ago. The study sheds light on the core principles underpinning a social enterprise and presents the challenges and opportunities facing the sector in Singapore.