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Experts Discussed The Role of Social Enterprises in Tackling Poverty & Economic Inclusion

J.P. Morgan – Asia Society One Step Ahead Series
by Fei Ming Hung
5 August 2016

HONG KONG, June 28, 2016 - J.P. Morgan and Asia Society proudly presented the fifth iteration of the One Step Ahead Series on June 28, 2016. The traveling conference series on workforce readiness returned home to Hong Kong with a refreshed take on both format and content. An 80-person-strong roundtable brought a stimulating dialogue on the role of social enterprises in tackling poverty and economic inclusion.

With a focus on Hong Kong, the first panel explored where social enterprises could make the biggest difference in economic inclusion. Led by Chong Chan Yau (President, Hong Kong Blind Union), Jane Lee (Director, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare council), Francis Ngai (Founder & CEO, Social Ventures Hong Kong), and moderated by Warren Ang (Director, Global Development Incubator), the panel discussed social enterprises’ transitional role in bridging the public, private and civic sectors.

The second panel focused on Asia and how social enterprises may scale what works, with insights shared by Tristan Ace (Global Partnerships and Development Manager, Social Enterprise, British Council), Kyungsun Chung (Founder & CEO, Root Impact, South Korea), Ding Li (VP, Non-Profit Incubator, China), and Penny Low (Founder, Social Innovation Park, Singapore). Moderated by Ada Wong (Founder, The Good Lab), discussions covered the hard and soft infrastructures that support the ecosystem for social enterprises to thrive. Recognizing the importance of social capital, speakers talked about the need for “changemaker clusters” and the potential for “social franchising” – maximizing impact of social enterprises through the public or private replication of their distinct operation models.

The Hong Kong roundtable is part of an ongoing conference series exploring issues related to economic growth and development in Asia. Based on our core values – J.P. Morgan’s longstanding commitment to investing in communities and Asia Society’s mission of public education – the One Step Ahead Series provides a non-partisan, high-level platform for discussion on some of the most critical challenges and opportunities in this dynamic region. The upcoming symposium will be held in Beijing on November 3, 2016, with a focus on China’s human capital transformation through innovation. Stay tuned for more to come! (5 min. 6. sec)