Op-ed: Marching to a Different Drummer: Social Enterprise Gains Popularity in China
Researchers Huan Chen, Juelin Yin and Florian Kohlbacher from the International Business School Suzhou (IBSS) at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) in Suzhou explain why and how the idea of “social enterprise” is beginning to gain some traction in China.
Tao Mei is a former executive of a listed company who several years ago resigned his job to take care of his young daughter and has now returned to the wider world by starting a business in the children education sector.
He’s not the only person in the New China to be forging an innovative path to financial independence by founding a “social business”, that is one which makes money at the same time as helping society in some way, a combination of commerce and charity.
“Premier Li (Keqiang) encourages entrepreneurship and the favorable business climate gives me more confidence on the cause,” Tao said. “I think it is the right time for me to share my child-rearing experience and to help more parents.”
Driven by government policy stimulus, “entrepreneurship” and “innovation” have entered the vocabulary of China’s economic and social development. The National Development and Reform Commission has reported a surge in entrepreneurship with newly-registered enterprises in 2015 exceeding 10,000 per day on average.