Since the Nineteenth National Congress, community governance has become the focus of social governance. Building a collaborative and shared community governance model is a trend now. The government proposed a development path for community-based organizations (CBOs), emphasizing ‘meeting the needs of the masses’, ‘focusing on support and encouragement’ and ‘building capability as groundwork’1. And these CBOs are expected to play important roles in innovative grass-roots community governance.
Client A is an IT company dedicated to building future-oriented innovative education ecosystem. It has three business units which cover different educational scenarios from campus, business to online platform. The company expect to create and realize a shared educational vision, that is, to cultivate people with value of ‘inside out’.
Inclusive business (IB) is an innovative business initiative to benefit the poor and low-income population. On one hand, IB companies have viable business models which can secure a healthy level of profitability. On the other hand, they can provide jobs, increase income opportunities and services to the poor and low-income. With both economic value and social impact, IB has received growing attention in poverty alleviation operations.
As the consultant of Asian Development Bank (ADB), Venture Avenue goes deeper into the topic of IB in China. In 2016, we participated in the overall research of the topic, first of its kind in China. Afterwards, we have continuously conducted relevant projects in Shanxi, Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia. On the basis of fully understanding the IB concept and broadly reaching out to various stakeholders, we would like to share some observations with you.
Since February 2018, Venture Avenue has started the China entry feasibility study for Magic Bus, an NGO based in India dedicated to improving education for underprivileged youths. The study focuses on discovering the most urgent needs for education for rural youths or migrant children in urban areas as well as positioning Magic Bus’s offerings in China. In this article, we would like to share our key observation and thoughts with regard to these topics.
Rural Education and Migrant Children Education in China
Rural and migrant children have been in a vulnerable position in terms of receiving education. While the 9-year compulsory education coverage reached 93.6% in 2017, dropout is more commonly seen among middle school students, migrant and left-behind children. The reason for leaving schools during compulsory education has changed: majority of the students drop out of school by their choices due to dislike of schools or learning difficulties, rather than financial difficulties.
In recent years, many NGOs and corporations started to adopt the methods of community revitalization to tackle the problems of certain groups or communities, so as to improve their quality of lives. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China also raised the policy of “innovate community governance, advocate joint construction and sharing”. In this article, we would like to share our understanding of community revitalization.
What is Community Revitalization?
As summarized by Prof. Luo Jar-Der from Tsinghua University, “the core of community revitalization is to revitalize people, i.e. to transform people into ones that are civic-minded and have subjective initiatives to participate in public affairs”. In addition to such transformation, community revitalization is based on emotional relationship, e.g. the love between friends, family or neighbors, as trust between one and another is the key.
In the last few years, organizations are spending more efforts on specifying and disseminating unique values, as clear value statement helps shape its brand image and attract talents. But even organizations with clear values are not strange to the following scenarios:
Scenario 1: An organization highlights its value of “unity and collaboration” on its official website. However, the selected “Star Performer” is well known for his “sole focus on departmental KPI, and rejection to share resources with others”.
Scenario 2: In another organization, two people are having conflict working together. One is expert in project operation, but does not get much promotion opportunities. The other does great job in making speeches, but does not really understand daily operations. Both of them believe that they are adhering to the company value “serving the public”.
Dear VA family and friends,
While 2017 is gradually cooling down to a peaceful year end, Venture Avenue is at an even faster pace. In December, VA’s footprints covered places as warm as Shenzhen, cold as far north of Inner Mongolia, and rainy as Cambridge, U.K. Let go all the hectic, it is the time of the year for me to turn to the calendar, and gather my thoughts on a bigger question: what have Venture Avenue achieved in 2017?
The phenomenal Ice Bucket Challenge was once a great example for the promotion of philanthropy communication campaign. However, a new way – ‘fan economy’（粉丝经济）, has been rising these years. That is to say, fans would initiate or support a philanthropy campaign in the name of a celebrity. They do so in order to create or maintain a positive image of their idols and increase their media exposure. Such type of support group could also be called ‘Oendan’（应援团）. In 2014, several donation events were organized in this manner and caught some attention. Since then, fan philanthropy has been rising in the eyes of some major foundations and NGOs, who quickly start to explore different formats of fan philanthropy. Yet, fan philanthropy is still at early stage and examples are rare.
In the last few years, the role of business is becoming crucial in the effort of reducing poverty, whether in the sustainable development goals under the United Nations, or the precision poverty relief goals in China. Major international development organizations, such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, have acknowledged the presence of business, which plays a remarkable role in poverty alleviation. Since last July, Venture Avenue has been appointed as a consultant to Asian Development Bank (ADB) in China, to explore how business could effectively contribute to poverty relief in China.
My dear friends,
On the occasion of yet another Christmas season, I sincerely wish all friends and family of Venture Avenue happy and healthy.
To Venture Avenue, 2016 is a year in which we continuously explore the frontier of China philanthropy. Social enterprise is not a strange concept any more while the boundaries of commercial and philanthropic capital are being broken. It is exactly the right time and right place for Venture Avenue team to exploit its cross-sector advantage to the full.