UBS Supported Report on Social Enterprise and Impact Investing in China

Back in April of 2013 a report, supported by UBS, regarding the development of social enterprise and social investment models in China, was released in Chinese at the Boao Forum in China. It is now available in English.

The academic study is the first comprehensive survey of social entrepreneurship in China completed in conjunction with leading Chinese universities. UBS’ role in gathering an international panel of social investors, added another dimension to a report that provides a wealth of information and insights that is rarely available outside of China.

Notable amongst the report’s findings:

- Social Enterprise in China builds off the traditional “welfare enterprise” model established in 1949. By the 1990s, China already was home to 60,000 of these organizations, providing employment opportunities to the disabled and marginalized groups.

- The PRC does not have a standardized understanding of what a “social enterprise” is. Rather, social enterprises operate under varied state bodies which manage oversight independent of each other.

- The growing wealth in China is beginning to be felt in the realm of social enterprises. Most of the capital flows stem from private foundations, domestic venture capital firms and private equity funds that have social mandates, and the push for innovation from the government.

- The industry is still plagued by scandals, lack of transparency, and poor accountability. According to the report, this should be seen as an opportunity rather than a risk, suggesting that social enterprise in China is poised to make a “generational leap”

To learn more, you can access the original report here

Other partners in the project include the Social Enterprise Research Centre at Shanghai University of Finance, the Center For Civil Society Studies at Peking University, the 21st Century Business Herald newspaper in China and the University of Pennsylvania.