Human capital contracts are a new and innovative method to finance university and post-graduate education. These equity-like arrangements could provide a solution to education accessibility issues for students in developing countries. In 2008, four professors from the Harvard Business School published a book entitled Entrepreneurship in the Social Sector. They suggest that a business-like approach in the social sector would help to maximize its impact and value.
“Down there you’ll see the State Opera, to your right you’ll see the Wenceslas Square. And over there, a prostitute was beaten to death for refusing to give the client what he wanted…”
Incongruous, but incongruity is what you get with Pragulic, a Prague-based social enterprise, which is taking on the city’s homeless as tour guides. Karim, a former male prostitute and Peter, an ex-police officer, are leading a group of around 20 tourists (mainly Czech, with a small contingent of Germans) through the underside of the Czech capital. Pragulic is only one of a handful of homeless tour organisers around the world.
Of the 197 companies that attended the 2013 meeting of Partnering for Global Impact in Lugano, Switzerland, only 17 were from Asia. Of that 17, four were from China or Southeast Asia. During my stay at the conference, this statistic would profoundly mirror back to me, when Tao Zhang, Managing Director for the China Global Impact Fund, said, “China [is] being put on the shelf.” Why hasn’t impact investing taken off in China & Southeast Asia? An analysis of key cultural, demographic and perceptual factors could explain why North American and European firms are hesitant to enter the industry.