CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

15 September 2021 – 28 September 2021

Hong Kong-based Yidan Prize Foundation unveils 2021 award winners. Regarded as one of the world’s highest education accolades, the Yidan Prize recognizes individuals and teams with significant contributions to education research and education development. This year’s Yidan Prize for Education Research laureate is Stanford University’s Professor Eric Hanushek, and the Yidan Prize for Education Development laureate is Dr. Rukmini Banerji of the Pratham Education Foundation. Each laureate will be awarded HK$30 million (approximately US$3.9 million). Continue reading on Yidan Prize’s website →

Pakistan’s local startups see record investment. Maqsad raised the nation’s largest edtech funding to date of US$2.1 million, marking the latest milestone among the nation’s startup industry, reports Bloomberg. In total, the country’s startups have raised over US$244 million in 2021—more than the previous six years combined, according to venture capital fund, Invest2Innovate. There is even more room for growth; according to CAPS’ study Business for Good, only 26% of social enterprises in Pakistan receive private investment. Continue reading in Bloomberg →

Tencent’s “99 Giving Day” 2021 raises ¥4.2 billion (approximately US$649.5 million). This year’s event spanned 10 days and saw over 68.7 million donors contribute ¥3.6 billion (approximately US$557 million), while Tencent Charity Foundation pledged to give ¥600 million (approximately US$92.5 million). Continue reading on Tencent’s website →

Bloomberg Philanthropies and Goldman Sachs pledge US$25 million to advancing clean energy solutions in South and Southeast Asia. The new Climate Innovation Fund, to be managed by the Asian Development Bank, will focus on clean energy solutions in India and Vietnam to begin with. This initial philanthropic funding has the potential to unlock up to US$500 million in private and government investments. Continue reading on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ website →

Corporates, governments and foundations continue contributing to Covid-19 relief and aid efforts in the region. BRAC Bank and SME Foundation signed an agreement to provide loans to help small businesses in Bangladesh recover from the impact of the pandemic. The Philippines’ SM Group intensifies vaccination of employees and stakeholders. The Macquarie Group Foundation allocated AU$20 million (approximately US$14.5 million) to 40 community organizations around the world working to combat Covid-19. This included helping seed two Gender Lens Funds in the Philippines. In Vietnam, the American Chamber of Commerce donated over VND5.2 billion (US$227,000) for the purchase of essential medical equipment. Intel Malaysia earmarked a second round of funding amounting to RM2 million (approximately US$477,000) towards relief efforts.

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Overview of Social Finance in Indonesia

AlliedCrowds & UNDP

This report analyzes the growing social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Indonesia. It details various factors that drive the social enterprise movement, from its startup-friendly culture to a supportive ecosystem, while noting the funding and market access challenges that young social enterprises face. The report also highlights the sectors where social enterprises are needed most, and gives preliminary recommendations on how to grow the country’s social entrepreneurship landscape. Read it here.

CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

04 August 2021 – 17 August 2021

Huawei announces a US$100 million investment in the Asia Pacific startup ecosystem over the next three years. The investment will go towards the company’s Spark Program, a startup accelerator which has been helping Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong build their startup hubs. The program will focus on developing additional hubs in Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Continue reading on Huawei’s website →

9 private banks partner with BRAC to strengthen its public awareness and emergency support campaigns as Covid-19 surges in Bangladesh. Donations amounting to TK15.95 crore (approximately US$1.88 million) will be used to deliver cash support, masks and preventative services in 20 high-risk districts across the country. Continue reading in the Dhaka Tribune →

Communities, nonprofits and social enterprises support pandemic relief in Asia. In Thailand, volunteers help the elderly and vulnerable who have become isolated as a result of the pandemic. In Vietnam, an estimated 90 community groups and organizations provide emergency donations, free counseling services and online learning courses for children. The World Economic Forum releases a list of the top 50 social enterprises providing critical support on the frontlines in India.

Khazanah Nasional Berhad—Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund—announces RM6 billion (US$1.4 billion) fund to increase its high-impact, commercially viable investments over the next 5 years. The funds are expected to focus on investments that create impactful economic and social benefits as well as environmental, social and governance (ESG) areas. Continue reading in Reuters →

Founder and chairman of MBK Partners Michael ByungJu Kim pledges KRW30 billion (US$26.5 million) to the Seoul Metropolitan Government. To be used for the construction of a public library opening in 2025. Continue reading in Business Korea →

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CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

21 July 2021 - 3 August 2021

Philanthropists, corporates and the social sector donate to flood relief in Henan Province. China’s largest tech companies, including Tencent Holdings, Alibaba Group Holdings, Meituan, ByteDance and others, announced donations amounting to nearly ¥1 billion (US$154 million). State owned enterprises donated ¥686 million (approximately US$106 million).

Foundations and nonprofits also stepped up, including the Chinese Red Cross FoundationChina Siyuan Foundation for Poverty AlleviationLi Ka Shing Foundation and AmCham ChinaReuters reported that donations nearing US$300 million flowed to the flood-hit region.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma tops the 2021 Forbes China Philanthropy List. Ma and Hangzhou-based Alibaba made combined cash donations of ¥3.2 billion (approximately US$493.4 million) in 2020. The top 100 philanthropists donated a total of ¥24.5 billion (approximately US$3.79 billion)—a 37% increase from the preceding year. Continue reading in the South China Morning Post 

Sasakawa Peace Foundation commits US$5 million to supporting female entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia. The capital will be invested in Beacon Fund, an investment firm working with women-owned and women-focused enterprises. It will add momentum and help build the gender lens investing ecosystem in the region. Continue reading on Sasakawa Peace Foundation’s website 

Google.org commits US$7.5 million in grants and other support to help alleviate the current pandemic crisis in six Asian economies. US$1.5 million will go to UNICEF and support urgent needs in Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. US$1 million will go to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to address needs in Indonesia. US$5 million worth of Ad Grants will go to local government agencies and organizations across Southeast Asia to run public health information campaigns for free. Continue reading on UNICEF’s website →

United In Diversity (UID) Foundation and Gajah Tunggal Group donate 2,000 tons of liquid oxygen to fight Indonesia’s surge in Covid-19 cases. The donation was made to the Ministry of Health and will be distributed to hospitals experiencing oxygen shortages. Continue reading in Antara News →

LGT Private Banking launches first impact fund. US$900 million worth of investments will be made in rapidly growing, innovative and sustainable businesses in India, Europe and Latin America. Most of the investments will be in sectors such as education, healthcare, sustainable food and agriculture, renewable energy, fintech and others. Continue reading on LGT’s website →

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CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

23 June 2021 – 06 July 2021

With total donations valued at US$102.4 billion, India’s Jamsetji Tata—founder of the Tata Group—tops the 2021 EdelGive Hurun Philanthropists of the Century list. This is the first time EdelGive Foundation and Hurun Research Institute have spotlighted top philanthropists spanning a century. The 50 most generous individuals come from five economies, including three from China and two from India. Continue reading on the Hurun website →

Corporates and the social sector continue to support relief efforts as Asia experiences a resurgence of Covid-19. In India, Standard Chartered BankGoogle India and Vedanta Resources have pledged support towards relief efforts. Vinamilk, a Vietnamese dairy company, is supporting the domestic and regional fight against Covid-19. Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese companies operating in Vietnam are contributing to the government’s vaccine fund. In Taiwan, the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation becomes the third organization to win approval to procure vaccines, following Foxconn and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).

CAPS explains how Asian business leaders are championing public-private partnerships for social good. As the world comes to grips with the social and economic repercussions of Covid-19, the need and potential for multi-stakeholder collaborations are becoming more evident. CAPS’ Senior Researchers Annelotte Walsh and Wilson Lau discuss how a deeply rooted desire to do good can drive business leaders to partner with government for social good. Continue reading on the WINGS website →

Zhang Yiming, founder of TikTok owner ByteDance, gives ¥500 million (US$77.3 million) to education. Zhang’s donation will be transferred to an education fund in his hometown of Longyan city. The funds will be used for teacher training, ed-tech infrastructure and the construction of dormitories, reports Bloomberg. This donation is in line with the recent trend we have reported of Chinese tech billionaires giving big. Continue reading in Bloomberg →

HKEX Foundation launches HK$10 million (approximately US$1.3 million) HKEX Impact Funding Scheme to support community projects run by local NGOs. The scheme will be implemented in partnership with the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) and focus on four thematic areas: financial literacy, diversity and inclusion, poverty relief, and environmental sustainability. Applications close on 11 August. Continue reading on the HKEX website → 

Indian companies unveil ambitious plans to push clean energy. Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries pledges INR750 billion (US$10.1 billion) over three years to clean energy investment. Last year Reliance set itself the target of becoming a net-zero carbon company by 2035. Gautam Adani of Adani Group plans to turn his business carbon negative, aiding the government’s goal to expand the country’s renewable capacity nearly fivefold and meet its 2030 climate commitments.

Singapore-based EcoWorth Tech wins at the 2021 SAFE STEPS Disaster Tech (D-Tech) Awards. The winner in the for-profit category, Eco-Worth is the creator of the Carbon Fibre Aerogel (CFA) sponge. The sponge is made from low-cost natural materials and can be used to clean organic materials from wastewater. The awards, by Prudence Foundation and partners, recognize the essential role that technology plays in protecting and saving lives before, during and after natural disasters. Continue reading on the Safe Steps website  

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CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

26 May 2021 - 8 June 2021

Wang Xing, Founder of Meituan, gives big. Wang recently donated over US$2 billion worth of shares in the food-delivery giant to his philanthropic foundation. Meituan said the funds will go towards education and scientific research. Wang’s donation is in line with the recent trend of Chinese tech billionaires substantially increasing their philanthropic giving. Continue reading in The Wall Street Journal →

Companies in Asia set up Covid-19 inoculation programs for employees and their families. In India, companies including HCLBajaj Auto and Samsung India have launched employee vaccination campaigns. Japanese companies are also stepping up and inoculating employees, which will help the government double the number of daily vaccinations to 1 million. Companies in Southeast Asia rolled out similar initiatives in the second quarter of this year.

Terry Gou, Founder of Foxconn, pledges US$228 million to purchase 5 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines as Taiwan sees a spike in Covid-19 infections. The donation is expected to also cover the cost of transportation, cold chain logistics and storage, distribution, and administration. Continue reading in Taiwan News 

92% of youth-led enterprises in the Asia Pacific negatively impacted by Covid-19, according to Youth Co:Lab. The organization—co-created by UNDP and Citi Foundation—recently launched their report, “How Young Entrepreneurs in Asia-Pacific Responded to COVID-19.” It discloses how lockdowns, shrinking demand, supply chain disruptions and a credit crunch challenged these enterprises. They responded by pivoting business strategy, launching new products and services, and transforming business models. The report also showcases over 40 innovative youth-led solutions aiding the region’s Covid-19 recovery.

Japan’s impact investing market has potential to grow to ¥2.64 trillion (approximately US$24 billion). The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG-NAB) Japan recently launched their report, “The Current State and Challenges of Impact Investing in Japan.” It highlights trends in impact investing—including growing interest from corporates and the issuance of Japan’s first sustainability-linked bond—and forecasts market size. This is encouraging news as there is much room for growth; according to CAPS’ study Business for Good, only 9% of social enterprises in Japan receive private investment.

Asian philanthropists pool US$1.5 million to contribute 600,000 doses towards COVAX global Covid-19 vaccine target. Singapore-based Asia Philanthropy Circle raised this funding from 10 philanthropists and philanthropic organizations. Their pooled donation will be matched by a public charity through Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, bringing total funding to US$3 million. Continue reading on Asia Philanthropy Circle’s website 

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CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

16 March 2021 - 31 March 2021

After recent outbreak of Covid-19 cases, Cambodian government calls upon private sector for further assistance. One of Cambodia’s largest conglomerates, Prince Holding Group, and its chairman Neak Oknha Chen Zhi, answered the call with a fresh bequest of US$3 million. Cambodian tycoon Kith Meng and his family also contributed US$3 million, with an additional US$2 million to purchase Nokor Tep Hospital. Both Kith Meng and Chen Zhi are among a list of prominent business leaders who had already donated to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s vaccine efforts last December, contributing US$3 million each at that time.

Private equity fund ABC World Asia launches inaugural report detailing investment activities and impact performance. The report, “Journey to Impact in Asia,” showcases the performance of SG$98 million (approximately US$73 million) invested in five companies addressing challenges in climate, financial inclusion, healthcare, and sustainable agriculture in 2020. The fund aims to encourage more dialogue around impact investing in Asia by publicly sharing its framework for impact evaluation and its learning and experiences. In CAPS’ Business for Good, we highlight how impact investors can help incentivize other investors by publishing reports like this that showcase different approaches to investment and celebrate success stories. Continue reading in PR Newswire →

Swire Group reaffirms commitment to Hong Kong community with new HK$150 million (approximately US$20 million) charitable pledge. The new round of funding will go to TrustTomorrow, an initiative launched in early 2020 by the Group’s philanthropic arm Swire Trust. It will support around 30 projects, primarily in education, marine conservation and the arts, over the next three years. Continue reading in the South China Morning Post →

Survey of Indian bureaucrats highlights critical role of NGOs in pandemic response. The Centre for Policy Research survey, conducted in August-September 2020, polled over 500 officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). The findings show that three out of five officers considered NGOs and civil society as critical partners in the pandemic response. Officers in more developed states, however, were less likely to consider NGOs as critical partners, suggesting they may be less dependent on them for meeting gaps in services. Continue reading in Live Mint →

Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan, eldest daughter of the King of Malaysia, launches social enterprise on mental health. The 28-year-old royal has launched Green Ribbon Group, a social enterprise that aims to combat mental health issues in Malaysia. It will seek to empower stakeholders involved in raising awareness around mental health, through advocacy, fundraising, and collaboration initiatives. Continue reading in CNA Luxury →

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The State of Social Enterprise in South East Asia

British Council and UNESCAP

This report combines economy-specific analyses of social enterprises across South East Asia, including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. An estimated one million social enterprises exist across these economies. This report highlights the activities that social enterprises are engaged in, the range of beneficiaries, as well as their size and reach. The diverse types and sources of support social enterprises receive are also discussed. Read it here.

Individual reports can be accessed here:

CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

02 March 2021 - 15 March 2021

In the latest for South China Morning Post, CAPS explains how China achieved its poverty alleviation goal by seasoning its ‘stone soup’ strategy. On February 25th, Xi Jinping announced that his signature campaign to eliminate absolute poverty was a success. CAPS’ Chief Executive Ruth Shapiro and Deputy Director of Advisory Services Angel Lin give insight into the four strategies—a focused campaign, aligned incentives, tracking poverty, and mobilizing resources—that helped China achieve this audacious goal. Continue reading in the South China Morning Post →

Family philanthropy in India has tripled since 2019, according to latest India Philanthropy Report. While other sources of private funding—foreign, corporate, and retail—remained stagnant, funding from individual philanthropists grew to approximately INR 12,000 crore (approximately US$1.7 billion) in FY2020. This accounts for almost two-thirds of the increase in funding during the pandemic. This rise in individual giving is welcome, as foreign funding saw its share of overall funding fall to 25% and corporate funding is set to decline. Continue reading in the Business World →

Singapore’s Temasek Holdings commits US$500 million to impact investing specialist LeapFrog Investments. This allocation by Temasek, the US$214 billion Singapore state-backed investment company, is the largest single commitment to a specialist impact investment manager, according to the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). Temasek hopes its commitment will encourage other large institutional investors to move into impact investing. Continue reading in the Financial Times →

Newly published report estimates 1 million social enterprises across South East Asia. The State of Social Enterprise in South East Asia, launched earlier this month by the British Council, collates research on social enterprises from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The report examines social enterprises’ activities, size and reach, as well as available government and financial support. CAPS also estimated there to be at least 1.2 million social enterprises in the six economies covered in Business for Good: Maximizing the Value of Social Enterprises in Asia. Continue reading in Pioneers Post →

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CAPS Spotlight: Who’s Doing Good

17 February 2021 - 01 March 2021

Korea’s Kim Bong-jin and his wife Bomi Sul are the latest to sign the Giving Pledge, vowing to donate half of their wealth. Kim Bong-jin is founder and CEO of Woowa Brothers, which created Korea’s largest food-delivery app. Kim and his wife are the first Koreans to sign the Giving Pledge, an initiative started in 2010 by billionaires Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Melinda Gates to encourage the ultra-rich to give away most of their fortunes to philanthropy. This follows a recent announcement by Korean billionaire Kim Beom-su, who also pledged to donate over half of his wealth to charitable causes. Continue reading in Bloomberg →

I(x) Investments, co-founded by Warren Buffet’s grandson, is among those turning to Asia for impact investing. I(x) Investments has brought together more than 65 of the world’s wealthiest families from 14 countries to invest in climate and sustainability issues. The company is among those looking to Asia both to attract new impact investors and to allocate funds to. One of its biggest bets in the region is WasteFuel, a startup developing technology to convert municipal waste into jet fuel. With plans to build a US$700 million plant in the Philippines and replicate this model in other Asian countries, the startup has already received investment from several I(x) families, including Filipino billionaire Enrique Razon. Continue reading in Bloomberg →

Tata STRIVE and Wipro GE Healthcare partner up to bridge healthcare skill gap in India. As part of the CSR partnership, Wipro GE Healthcare will design, develop and implement industry-relevant training to help underprivileged students achieve gainful employment. Tata STRIVE, the skills development CSR initiative of the Tata Community Initiatives Trust, will provide the candidates loans upon qualifying for the course. The partnership aims to skill 6,200 candidates over a period of three years. Continue reading in The CSR Journal →

IKEA partners with local social enterprise Rags2Riches in the Philippines. The Swedish multi-national company is opening its first store in the Philippines and tapping the services of Rags2Riches for a three-year partnership. Rags2Riches, a social enterprise which employs female artisans from low-income communities to create sustainable fashion and home products, will be providing sewing services in IKEA’s Philippines store. As highlighted in CAPS’ study, Business for Good: Maximizing the Value of Social Enterprises in Asia, procuring from social enterprises like this is a win-win strategy that can advance sustainable consumption as well as provide the funding and capacity building support social enterprises need to grow. Continue reading in BusinessWorld →

The GiveIndia Fundraising Challenge 2021, India’s biggest fundraising event, is helping NGOs raise crores in funds. Nearly 200 nonprofits have already raised over Rs 2 crores (approximately US$275,000) since the challenge began on February 1. The challenge will run till March 28 and is expected to raise more than Rs 15 crore (approximately US$2 million) by then. Since the timing coincides with the end of the financial year, NGOs typically leverage tax savings donors would get for donating to them to appeal for funds. Continue reading in the Business Standard →

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