To notch a world-class win in driving social change, captured in high social return on investment (SROI) through high-performing investment, well-oiled strategic partnerships and consumer-driven advocacy.
It is a revelation that companies can immensely gain from driving social change. Leading companies such as GE, Walmart, Wellpoint and many more are transforming social responsibility into social innovation and revolutionizing the way we think about the role of the business in our society. Their breakthrough strategies are generating unprecedented business outcomes simply by solving pressing social problems. We just want to create and sustain economic value through positive social change. It is all about making social change works for the business, and in turn, staying relevant in the new economy.
We want to educate and inspire relevant parties on the mechanics and purposes of social investment and social business strategies. In addition, we strive to build up this new third sector to a level where it will be explicitly understood and widely accepted by all levels of the society. This nobel yet novel exercise in innovating market-based solutions to a plethora of social issues is really daunting even to the most passionate of social business practitioners and activists. The biggest financial returns in this new century will come from solving the world's most pressing problems. We need a new investment advice for a new economy where the impact on people and planet form an important component of a portfolio's profit.
There is a huge potential for social investment in Asia and Africa as rapid economic growth deepen the financial markets and expand the base of wealthy consumers, while social issues of poverty, deprivation and environmental issues remain salient.
We believe there will be a time when the society can reap the dividends of our concerted efforts. Investors, Empowered Consumers, Business Leaders, Volunteers, Suppliers, Employees, Entrepreneurs and Community/Civic Group Leaders can be part of the SOLUTION to these vexatious social problems. We believe that they can engineer SOCIAL CHANGE significantly.
Socially innovative and committed to developing innovative products and services customised for the under served or marginalized consumers, the businesses are equipped with a thorough understanding of what they really want and need, and are driven by the ruthless pursuit of affordabilty. The businesses are the key partner that will invariably harness the power of social change to produce business value.
Businesses are driven by a purpose higher than merely maximizing profit, and they must ensure optimal benefits to all stakeholders. Only if that happens, can capitalism deliver to all humanity the full societal benefits it is capable of.
The business partner will have the special privilege in accessing the social fund representative. And, there will be a community of consumer-philanthropists who will advocate for what the business is championing for. Endorsement by the council of social innovation's advisers in the form of certificate will be extended to deserving companies. The business partner can tap into the clout of the strategic partnerships formed for social venture projects to position wisely and appropriately in any business moves. There are regular talks or workshops on social innovation for our partners to attend - how business can harness the power of social change to ramp up profitability. Finally, there are social venture programs for our partners to consider participating as the service provider or supplier.
It is a new kind of fund that is driven by consumers and it is the most potent and creative force to solve intractable social problems. It is indeed a welcome antidote to sweeping misrepresentation about capitalism as a force for good. The characteristic of the fund is largely influenced by the principles laid down by Professor Md Yunus, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 2006.
Can we produce economic value by creating social good? We believe so. The fund would support socially innovative businesses and reward non-profits that improve lives while reducing the cost and liabilities of the state programs.
Can social value translate into economic value?
Yes, in most areas of social spending. A successful pay-for-performance model really works! Unlike other bonds or financial instruments, EP-SI Social Fund carries considerably lower risk for the state. Only high-performing businesses and non-profits would qualify to participate; providers are only rewarded when they successfully deliver the social outcomes.
To help solve state budget problem, we have to successfully achieve two broad objectives: improve results from current state spending, and boost investment in high-performing social programs. But doing so requires that we riddle out our state budget problems with a novel approach. Herculean governmental and philanthropic efforts to stamp out poverty have not reached scale because they lack market incentives to attract massive resources.
It is primarily designed to produce business value simply by harnessing the power of social change. To solve social problems, we leverage the machinery of the business.
It is a community of consumers whose purchase are being governed and driven by intense desire to support the culture of social innovation. They are also deemed to actively engage in the journey and the outcome of the social ventures led by EP-SI. In fact, they are entitled to social returns. The social return scorecard as measured in SROI will be published periodically, according to the size and the frequency of their mission-based purchases.
To enjoy a unique shopping experience that is tied in with strong social causes, we create EP-SI Shopping Program. It offers a wide array of merchandises and services.
We organize social networking activities for the consumers to share the idea of how consumer-philanthropy can influence the trajectory of social innovation works and discuss on a wide spread of social issues that consumers can help address and give feedbacks. Social innovation corner (sited in places where there is heavy human traffic) is one of those programs that will facilitate this interaction. Social media platform and mobile apps are another means to promote community engagement. Consumers are also invited to be in the vanguard of the movement where consumption can possibly rein in social issues simply by signing up as our ambassador.
The programs are the major conduit for delivering social benefits to the less privileged or marginalized communities. The programs also facilitate the provision of services and products by businesses that are socially innovative, able to provide market-based solutions to the social problems. Businesses that are driven by the ruthless pursuit of affordability. To engage effectively the beneficiaries, we painstakingly weave a fabric of strategic partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from government leaders, business leaders, non-profit leaders to consumer-philanthropists and civic leaders in order to attain our social venture outcomes.
Some of the social venture programs that we initiate:
We then structure the business machinery that will be configured to generate positive social impact. We believe that a socially innovative and purpose-driven business will form a vital part of the equation of what makes the world a better place to live in. We are into a new era, one in which companies profit from driving social change. Leading corporations like General Electric, Walmart, Unilever and Wellpoint are transforming social responsibility into social innovation and revolutionizing the way we think about the role of business in society. Their breakthrough strategies are producing unprecedented business outcomes simply by solving social problems.
Watter-GlennHill Ventures is the creator of EP-SI Social Venture Fund - fund that supports business that make social change works for their business. It is a new kind of capitalism that creatively addresses a plethora of pressing social ills. It is intentionally created to support, invest in businesses that do social good without compromising their economic outcome. EP-SI is an innovative business approach that creates economic value simply by driving social change. In order to eradicate poverty and solving numerous social problems, it has to be through profit.
Former US Vice President Al Gore once said,"Your employees, your colleagues, your board, your investors, your customers are all soon going to place a much higher value on an assessment of how much you are part of the solution to these social issues."
Capitalism with a human touch now has gone down well with many bankers. DBS Bank Chief Executive Piyush Gupta said "Around the world and increasingly now in Asia, one of the fastest growing parts of private banking is philanthropic investing. It is different from just giving money. People are quite happy to take a lower return on an investment that they think also do some social good."
Also, we are social innovation activists who build up an architecture of Public-Private Partnerships among government agencies, non-profit organizations and businesses that invariably put socially innovative businesses in the vanguard of any viable social innovation venture.
We inspire talented and like-minded bosses, suppliers, employees and consumers to support the community of businesses that have explicit social change components at the core of their business strategy. We believe that the business can play a pivotal role in creating significant social impact.
The landscape of social venture will definitely improve dramatically with the support of those individuals and businesses.
Above all, we are developing an ever growing community of consumers who are being driven by an intense desire to support businesses that embed social components in the fabric of the products or services that they offer to the marketplace. They also support businesses that incorporate all the colors of social innovation. There is a new breed of consumers that are inspired and galvanized by an intense desire to espouse the culture of making social change works for the business.
These consumers are known as philanthropic consumer or better known as philanthro-consumer. Their purchase are being driven by a strong social mission.
Let us consign the poverty to a dustbin of history. Eradicate an abject poverty and a plenitude of social issues once and for all....and, we can do it through conscious consumption.
Let us give you a snapshot of two of our social ventures that we currently lead or host:
In Zimbabwe, we help innovate creative, market-based solutions to the social issues that have been vexing the government in the areas of public housing and community building. This will then result in high-growth, profitable business opportunities. We are presently working with government-linked company in Zimbabwe to build up tens of thousands of affordable houses for the low-income Zimbabweans.
This project certainly will benefit many locals in many ways. This project surely rhymes well with the fundamental of our approach to solving social issues. It clearly creates economic value simply by driving social change.
As the term suggests, we facilitate an entire process of getting the unemployed locals to integrate well into the mainstream workforce. In the process, we reorganize their lives in which no other previous organizations have ever come close to. There is a framework of social innovation that will address their plights. The key component of their solution is livelihood. And, we want to facilitate that! We want to help many unemployed and less privileged locals to redeem their self respect. And, at the same time we want to help enterprises to innovate their business solution simply by making social issues work for their business. It is definitely a win-win partnership framework that will benefit immensely employees and employers alike.
To have forged strategic partnerships with innumerable organizations and individuals to create social ventures across Asia and Africa is simply astounding! When we are able to empower and enable many lives to find effective solutions to their social issues through EP-SI platforms that are specially designed to create economic value simply by driving social change.
In short, the possibilities of the world of social change are enormous. This is a century rich in potential to solve social problems, provides prosperity to all, to overcome long-standing issues of social deficits that previously we could not surmount.
But it only will work if the values which inform the change are values that inspire the creation of a culture that promotes social innovation. Social business and social capitalism have a profound role to play. EP-SI will try to make it for good.
Razz has 15 years of experience working with various consortium of private equity investors from diverse places that spanned most of North Africa and South Asia. Stumbled upon the idea of social innovation by accident from a forum on Social Entrepreneurship organized by National University of Singapore (NUS) business school way back in 2005. In that forum, he learned immensely about social business and began to leverage his deal making experience with scores of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) to inspire many wealthy individuals to support his social causes.
During his tenure as a Senior Vice President of Mergers & Acquisitions for an asset trading firm, he saw an abject poverty. Children were seen trawling fervidly for food and families were seen huddling in the makeshift tents. That really moved him and at that point in time he was wondering how he could help stem the flow of poverty. After reading a book written by Professor Md Yunus who was a Nobel Prize Winner for Peace in 2006, he made up his mind to build up a fund to support social ventures. He voraciously read books that shed light on social entrepreneurship and social capitalism, attended seminars and events and networked with countless social entrepreneurs in order to gain an insightful lowdown on how capitalism and business can address pressing social problems.
Fast forward, he is now able to rally the supports of consumer-philanthropists to take part in this noble and novel exercise of espousing a cornucopia of social ventures which eventually deliver numerous social benefits to a much wider community of under served people. That will stamp out a plenitude of social issues.
Razz is a leading Social Impact Investment Activist (SII) who has been working relentlessly in building an architecture of strategic partnerships with corporations, SMEs, NGOs, government bodies, charitable institutions, civil group/community leaders to create numerous social ventures that eventually benefit immensely innumerable lives in a significantly positive way. He was acknowledged by Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy (ACSEP), National University of Singapore (NUS), for his keen insights and broad experiences of Asia Philanthropy for research project.
The trustees of EP-SI Social Venture Fund have unanimously appointed Razz as the Board Chairman whose main responsibility is to preside over the use of the fund for social investment. He was one of the judges at the finals of the new Social Enterprise/Cooperative category of the 13th Start-up@Singapore Business Plan Competition on 14th April 2012 at National University of Singapore (NUS). He was again invited to be the judge for the Social Venture Challenge (Open Category) at National University of Singapore (NUS) on 20th April 2013.
Razz is also a board adviser of Khairum Ummah Foundation which is registered and based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He helps facilitate the creation of social businesses and social business fund for the foundation.
Be part of EP-SI - the way to change the landscape of social equity and be part of the solution to the preponderance of social issues. Consume and support our work to do just that!
Give yourself a nudge to be PART of the SOLUTION to a plethora of social challenges. Help us build and grow a community of philanthropic consumers or better known as philanthro-consumers who care in your own backyard!
Rose Pua is pleased to invite those who are keen to be part of the community to be our Ambassador or Partner or Fellow or Sponsor in which U can play a pivotal role in supporting business that does social good - the kind of business that innovates market-based solutions to riddle out social problems.
Send your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org for more social venture opportunities.