An Opportune Time for Investing in the Transformation of Our Society
Self-sufficiency maintains growth,
just like the spring of living water
Over the past decade, as market conditions have become increasingly volatile and the role played by governments has weakened, “social entrepreneurship” has sprung forth, entering the fray. This has increased public awareness and participation in the market, not only blurring the line between society and industry, but also changing the way we think about non-profit organizations. This phenomenon has also begun to change public policies.
The driving force behind this social movement is not merely young people chasing their dreams, but also an older generation looking for meaning. Their goals are very simple. They do not just show compassion, but they want to give back, too. And more than just giving back, they want to participate and see sustainability. Yet even sustainability is not enough; they want development, public benefits, as well as justice.
Nowadays, mainstream thinking has been in disarray, which has led to self-reflection. Bill Gates is a good example. His “Creative Capitalism,” Michael E. Porter's “Creating Shared Value,” Muhammad Yunus’ “Social Business,” and Robert Shiller's support of the “B Corp Movement” have made it clear that society and industry are not two separate lines running parallel to one another and that the world is changing at a fast pace!
B Current Impact Investment Inc. (BCI2) is a community started by 43 professionals from various backgrounds in Taiwan and Silicon Valley. BCI2 was launched on April 10, 2014 through experimenting with club funding. Its focus on social innovation and the linking of social entrepreneurs with impact investors has helped to elevate social enterprises’ investment readiness and bankability so that they can sustain and develop themselves, just like the rush of flowing water at an opportune time to transform society.
The biggest challenge for social investments is allowing for the growth and expansion of more social enterprises so that they become investable. We believe that trust can be a currency in itself. And just as the soul cannot live without blood, our purpose cannot be priced. There will come a day when top-notch talent at social enterprises will no longer need to settle for second-rate remuneration. More than that, the managers of social enterprises will no longer be inundated with ethical dilemmas. There will be a time when executives and investors can trust one another enough to provide mutual assistance. Entrepreneurs will no longer find the need to rush off and to go it alone. Social enterprises will mature, evolving to nurture one another, with newcomers benefiting from the influence and example of their successful predecessors. We look forward to the day when we are no longer called “social enterprises,” because all enterprises will be social.
Founder, Canmeng (Aveda) Taiwan
Former General Manager, 104 Corporation
Trustor, Common Good Social Welfare Charitable Trust
Chairman, Primax Electronics
Chairperson, Allianz Global Investors Taiwan
President, B Current Impact Investment
Former President, China Credit Information Service
Chairman, B Current Impact Investment
In addition to being responsible for corporate governance and reviewing investments, B CURRENT shareholders also participate in pre- and post-investment management by contributing their time, expertise, resources and networks on a case-by-case basis. These include attending to issues relating to corporate governance, human capital, business development, product improvement, fund raising, and assistance in the continuous growth of our investees.
The development of social enterprises depends on the support of an ecosystem. From a small seed grows a mighty tree; a single spark ignites a large fire. Therefore, there is a veritable well of social investments and efforts to link various types of intermediaries, such as incubators, co-working spaces, government entities, media, educational institutions, and professional organizations in order to build a foundation for an ecosystem in a globalized world.