Category Archives: Resources

Social Enterprise in Pakistan: Unlocking Innovation Through Enterprise Incubation


70 percent of Pakistan’s population is under 30. The country is facing a demographic youth bulge, which presents a fertile ground for developing human talent. In order to ensure a more stable future of the country, there is a strong need to offer quality education, build managerial capacity and conduct skills training.

Currently, businesses in urban areas are still fraught with severe corporate governance issues, political disputes and contractual obligations. In addition to that, religious tensions mainly in rural areas create political activism. This combined with frequent policy changes resulted in dampened ambitions and entrepreneurial actions, which is why it is crucial to re-engage entrepreneurs in Pakistan and start this process by harnessing the skill-sets of the youth.

The issue of unleashing the innovation potential of Pakistan’s social entrepreneurs is further explored in a report called Social Enterprise in Pakistan: Unlocking Innovation Through Enterprise Incubation, published by the Economic Policy Group earlier this month.


Report Findings

The report suggests the establishment of incubator hubs in business schools to promote knowledge sharing and networking. Further, it claims that there is an urgent need for new policy frameworks to facilitate social innovation and leverage Pakistan’s home-grown capacity in the global economy.

In this context both public and private investors can play a crucial role in shaping the ecosystem of enterprises and hence unlocking the full potential of Pakistan’s young social entrepreneurs. Both sectors’ investment in human talent as well as the development of new institutions will allow for a dynamic movement where entrepreneurial individuals are encouraged to take action and enable change.

In order for this to happen, the report makes clear that both investor confidence and entrepreneurial confidence have to rise. This change of mindsets can be achieved through training programs, mentorship and education in combination with a stable, enabling environment.

To allow for a successful socio-economic development of Pakistan, it is also crucial that there exists a careful due diligence of operating entrepreneurs as well as an understanding of the social fabric within urban and rural settings. Only then will the newly educated class be able to take full advantage of the opportunities arising from business incubator hubs and those at the Bottom of the Pyramid receive benefits of financial inclusion.

The reports finishes by pointing out that this is the perfect time to create a knowledge economy around the social innovation movement in Pakistan as there currently exists optimism within internal policy circles as well as the international community on Pakistan’s ability to catalyse enduring change in its economy.

You can find the full report with all its findings and suggestions here >>



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Philanthropy in India on the Rise – India Philanthropy Report 2012

In 2011, Bain & Company published its second annual India Philanthropy Report which found a significant rise in private donations to philanthropic causes and showed that such donations increased by 50% between 2006 and 2011, indicating a promising trend.

The 2012 report provides a deeper analysis of more recent trends that are contributing to the trend of increasing donations. In order to produce representative results, Bain & Company conducted their largest survey of India’s wealthy individuals to date, polling nearly 400 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and emerging HNWIs in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune.

The 2012 report focuses on 3 objectives:

  1. Provide an overview of trends spurring philanthropic growth
  2. Analyse two factors at the heart of current and future growth: the rise of young philanthropists, and a desire across philanthropists of all ages to invest in education
  3. Highlight hurdles to continued growth and outline potential solutions



One interesting finding of the report is the growing role of young people in Indian philanthropy (donors under the age of 30). This fast-expanding HNWI class shows a very strong commitment to “giving back”. At Bain they believe that facilitating these young donors and their preferred methods of donating is crucial to the continued growth of philanthropy in India. Also, 77% of Indian philanthropists are novices, with less than 3 years experience.

Another finding is that concerns about the transparency and awareness of giving channels remain, but have eased slightly compared to the prior year. In general, charitable giving has continued to rise over the last twelve months, with HNWIs donating an increasing proportion of their wealth to charitable causes. While the average contribution was 2.3% of total income in 2010, it increased to 3.1% in 2011 and since more than half of HNWIs surveyed expect to boost their donations again this year, projections for 2012 are promising. These next-generation donors show greater interest in making donations through formal channels to established NGOs, rather than giving money to a local religious institution or setting  up their own projects as their parents may have done.

Many of these next-generation donors have been educated overseas and want to adopt Western practices that favour more structured ways of giving with a clear focus on outcomes.

The report also points out that although giving in India is on the rise, there is significant room for improvement if it is benchmarked against the US, one of the world’s leaders in private giving, where HNIWs donate an average of 9.1% of their total income to charity.


You can find a complete overview of the survey results here >>

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Social Change around the World – Findings of the Social Change Impact Report

The 2012 Social Change Impact Report presents findings about the current state of social change around the world. The report was commissioned by Walden University and conducted online by Harris Interactive, covering data from February-March 2012. The survey includes perspectives of more than 8,900 individuals in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Jordan, Mexico and the United States and covers their perceptions and motivations for getting socially involved. Further, the report demonstrates the roles of government, non-profit organisations and the media in social change across different countries.

The 2012 survey is the second annual report and whereas last year’s findings emphasized on the power of social change in action from organisations and individuals who worked together to improve the lives of people around them, this year’s findings focus on how factors such as different economic conditions can influence social change attitudes and behaviours.

Findings of the report show that two-thirds of adults across the globe agree that when economic conditions are bad, it is more important to get involved in social change than when conditions are good. At the same time, many say that their actions do not change when the economy is bad, only 20% of the survey respondents, on average, claim that they are more likely to donate money to a cause or an organisation when economic conditions are bad.

For more detailed information, you can download the report here >>


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Leading Social Entrepreneurs of Pakistan: The Unsung Heroes (Iqbal M. Khan)

In his book, Khan introduces 92 entrepreneurs, their ventures and the inspiration and motivation behind their actions. All these individuals were able to make a lasting impact on Pakistan’s social economy and infrastructure.

The book is split into nine sections, starting off with a general overview of the book. This introduction is followed by more specific areas of social entrepreneurship namely education, health, children development, micro finance, community development, environment & heritage conservation, human rights, gender issues and women empowerment.

The Unsung Heroes provides a detailed description of the lives of each of the 92 social entrepreneurs. Their successes are analysed and readers are encouraged to acknowledge their contribution to the lives of people in Pakistan. The author believes that presenting socially engaged individuals and their successful ventures can inspire others to improve their lives and the lives of those around them as well. Khan also urges young people not to be deterred by the social challenges facing their country but to take action and find innovative ways to improve living conditions.

While the book only focuses on the social entrepreneurship scene in Pakistan, it provides several learnings about social entrepreneurship in general and is a very interesting read!


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Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know (David Bornstein, Susan Davis)

This book provides the reader with a thorough understanding of social entrepreneurship and contains good references for further readings. The authors explain what social entrepreneurs do, how their organisations work and how their business models differ from traditional models in the social sector, business, and government. The book also shows readers how to think like social entrepreneurs and how to become part of the movement.

It is a rather short read but provides a great foundation for anyone who wants to learn about social entrepreneurship.

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Impact Investing in Emerging Markets

emerging countries

The report ‘Impact Investing in Emerging Markets’ published by Responsible Research and supported by Willow Impact Investors analyses a number of social and environmental ventures from six sectors and  three different geographies to unveil the opportunities and challenges created by impact investing.

The opportunities it identifies reside in untapped markets, innovative operating models and the lack of services provided by counties’ public sectors. The challenges include country-specific issues of social underdevelopment, such as corruption and regulatory complexities in running a business. These factors affect both, financial profits and the ability to generate lasting impact.

The report first introduces the debate around the definition of impact investing and presents current efforts to formulate standards for measuring impact.

In a second part, the authors introduce the perimeter of their research and assess several factors for investors to consider when building an impact portfolio. Further, the authors examine the composition of current portfolios of projects undertaken by financial institutions and private equity firms active in the social arena.

This is followed by an analysis of different sectors and geographies and a presentation of relevant trends and examples of existing sustainable ventures.

The 10 key findings are:

  1. The potential financial returns of impact investments in emerging markets are compelling
  2. There are multiple efforts towards establishing clear performance metrics for ‘impact’
  3. There exist viable business models to resist a trade-off between impact and financial performance
  4. Within Asia, Africa and the Middle East, impact funds appear to concentrate activity in India and Africa, in the sectors of community development, microfinance and healthcare
  5. Education: private schools in emerging markets are filling the gap left by the private sector
  6. Healthcare: medical facilities, services for the poor, and innovative products can make a difference
  7. Nutrition: sustainable agriculture and aquaculture can alleviate poverty and release pressure on food prices
  8. Environment: sustainable forestry, renewable energy and effective waste management are strong growth areas
  9. Infrastructure: opportunities for impact investors exist in the provision of water, energy and telecommunications
  10. Microfinance: the combination of financing with business support services can improve performance results

Click here to download the full report >>

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Insight into the Impact Investment Market by J.P. Morgan and the Global Impact Investing Network

impact investmentIn 2011, J.P. Morgan and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) published a research report that provides an in-depth analysis of investor perspectives on impact investment and over 2,200 transactions. The report underscores the long-term potential of impact investment and recognises that the market is still in an early stage of development. The research aims at helping to advance a broader understanding of impact investing as an appropriate and economically effective way to complement government aid and philanthropy in solving major social issues

The majority of the 52 surveyed impact investors were optimistic about the impact investment industry and believe that there exists great potential for future growth. They plan to invest approximately US$4 billion over the next year and most of the surveyed investors expect that 5-10 percent of overall portfolios will be allocated to impact investments in just 10 years.

Further, the report finds that investor use of third party systems for impact measurement has increased by 10 percent between 2010 and 2011 and that the biggest challenge the industry is facing is the lack of track record of successful investments. The biggest risks the report identifies are illiquidity and uncertainty of financial returns. To overcome those risks, increased government activity and infrastructure development are crucial as they increase market information and promote growth.

Click here to download the report >>

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