Former Lehman Banker Leads Social Ventures in China, Battles Dyslexia in Schools

Friday, January 28, 2011

China’s social entrepreneurship scene is not all that well known, but the Hong Kong-based Avantage Ventures is trying to change that by infusing the country with a hefty dose of capital and mentorship. The company is led by founder Yvonne Li, a former investment banker with Lehman Brothers, who has a particular zest for climate change issues.

The social investor’s latest project is a school program in China that supports the growth of students with dyslexia–a condition that is not formally recognized by other school and government officials and thus often goes untreated, leaving thousands of children helpless.

“We try to focus on areas that traditional private equity firms might be missing, such as health care, education, and China’s growing aging population,” Li tells Fast Company.”We’re more of an impact investing firm. We’re looking for high-impact ventures, such as clean tech and renewable technologies.”

The Beijing LangLang Learning Potential Development Centre has already educated over 20,000 parents in the Beijing Metropolitan area about dyslexia. Hundreds of students are now receiving special training according to their needs, and development plans include expanding to the Southern city of Shenzhen.

Source: Fast Company (link opens in a new window)