Apr 16, 2018 03:39 PM

Looking for Model Social Enterprises. Official Launch of “Shape the Future Social Enterprise and Investment Awards”

In the internet era of globalization and diversification, what is the future of mother tongue education? For more than a decade, Xu Dongmei and her Hug Chinese team have been promoting native-language education beyond the current education system and trying to answer this grand question in the field of Chinese education for kids.

This time-honored education brand was rejuvenated in March, 2018 after securing a new round of financing of tens of millions of Yuan, with an estimated value of nearly 200 million Yuan ($31.7 million). Its vision of “cultivating China-rooted global citizens” is becoming crystalized under capital support.

Ceremony of 2017 Social Enterprise Awards
Ceremony of 2017 Social Enterprise Awards

These changes are mostly thanks to the China Social Enterprise and Investment Awards. As the winner of Education, Training and Employment Award, the Hug Chinese team was honored for its clear business model and steady financial growth with the potential for sustainable development.

Hug Chinese was awarded the Education, Training and Employment Prize in 2017
Hug Chinese was awarded the Education, Training and Employment Prize in 2017

At that time, Yuhong Capital was presented Social Investment of the Year Award on the same stage with Hug Chinese. As a professional equity investment agency, Yuhong Capital set its first step in impact investing in 2012, and it has so far invested in 27 social enterprises in fields like low-carbon, environmental protection, green agriculture, health and aging care, and knowledge sharing. Soon after the ceremony, Yuhong Capital expressed its willingness to invest in Hug Chinese.

Social enterprises and social investment are both “exotic ideas” in China. Social enterprises seek to tackle social issues through business models, while social investment, relied on capital and expertise, will significantly facilitate social enterprises to achieve greater social impact as well as create value for investors.

It is noteworthy that social enterprises possess both social and commercial value. Even if assessed under professional investment indexes, they are still of considerably high investment value. Take Yonghong Capital as an example. The average financial return on its social investment has reached 30%, and LvKang Medical Care in particular, as one of Yuhong’s investment beneficiaries, has entered the IPO stage.

Looking back on the development of social enterprises in China, the year of 2014 was an important milestone, when China Social Enterprise and Investment Forum (CSEIF) was initiated by 16 organizations that sought to promote the development of social enterprise sector in China.

Mr. Xu Yongguang delivered a speech at CSEIF annual ference where the 2017 Awards Ceremony was held
Mr. Xu Yongguang delivered a speech at CSEIF annual ference where the 2017 Awards Ceremony was held

As one of the founders of CSEIF, Xu Yongguang has witnessed the evolution of social enterprises in China. He believes that after 10 years of development, China has now become a leading force in impact investing and social enterprises. Launched in 2017 by CSEIF, the first Awards aimed to look for best practices of social enterprises in China.

Recognized as the “Oscars" in the social enterprise sector, the Awards is the first top awards in China with strong international perspectives. The 2018 Shape the Future Social Enterprises and Social Investment Awards was launched on 21 March with the deadline of online application of 22 April. It serves as a forward-looking platform to call for model social enterprises and investors which are committed to make real differences and solve the server social and environmental problems.

CFPA Microfinance was presented the 2017 Annual Social Enterprise Award
CFPA Microfinance was presented the 2017 Annual Social Enterprise Award

To ensure the authority and fairness, 2018 Awards requires three rounds of assessment as well as an all-star review panel, including Bai Yansong, a renowned TV host; Neil Shen , Global Managing Partner of Sequoia Capital and Founder of the China Fund; Ma Weihua, Chairman of Shenzhen Global Philanthropy Institute and Former President of China Merchants Bank.

Besides the continuous attention on fields of poverty alleviation, healthcare, social care, education and employability, sustainable development as well as social benefit product are there are altogether 6 specific field awards. The best social enterprises however, will compete for three top awards: 2018 Social Enterprise Award, 2018 Youth Social Entrepreneur Award and 2018 Woman Social Entrepreneur Award. Social investors are encouraged to apply for the 2018 Social Investor Award and nominate social enterprises for and the Award for Best Investment Value Social Enterprise.

In order to encourage exchanges and collaboration with social enterprises from greater China areas and other countries, the 2018 Awards has particularly created the HongKong, Taiwan and Macau Social Enterprise Award as well as Belt and Road Social Enterprise Award. For the latter, it welcomes all social enterprises from “Belt and Road”countries and Chinese enterprises operating as social enterprises in these countries to apply.

According to the selection criteria, if enterprises would like to apply for HK&MAC&TW Social Enterprise Award or Belt and Road Social Enterprises Award, they should have solved local social or environmental problems with prominent effects via innovative techniques or models and be willing to take an active role in cooperation and communication with social enterprises in Mainland of China.

Pursuant to nomination rules, all social enterprises are eligible to participate regardless of whether they are startups or big corporations. All commercial enterprises and B Corps devoted to social and environment problems, social organizations or cooperatives with sustainable business models, as well as social investment agencies committed to supporting social enterprises are eligible to apply.

According to the organizer, winners of 2018 Awards are offered free entrance to the Awards Ceremony and CSEIF annual conference in 31 May, which is regarded as the largest and most influential sector conference in China. More than 1,000 domestic and international delegates covering full ecosystem of the social enterprise and investment sector, including practitioners, investors, supporters, researchers and policymakers, are brought together to share their insights and experiences. The award ceremony will be one of the highlights of the conference.

The winners of HK/MAC/TW Social Enterprise Award and Belt and Road Social Enterprises Award will have in-person communication opportunity with Chinese social enterprise pioneers during the event, along with a high possibility to share their practice experience and gain attention of over 30 Chinese investors.

More importantly, as a practitioner to witness the development of China’s social enterprises and investment sector, how could you miss such an event? Join“Shape the Future Social Enterprises and Investment Awards”is just a click away! Register online now:

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