Social Innovation : Asian Case Studies of Innovating for the Common Good book cover
1st Edition

Social Innovation
Asian Case Studies of Innovating for the Common Good

ISBN 9780367278243
Published June 17, 2019 by Routledge
138 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In the world of creating new ventures with the single goal of achieving financial profitability, it is well known that nine of ten startups are likely to fail. For new social ventures that have the twin goals of financial profitability and social inclusiveness, the chances of failures are even higher.

This book provides insight into the common struggles of social activists and the strategic responses necessary to not only overcome their organizational issues but also address the world’s pressing social challenges. The book not only traces the journey of the social activists in growing their social ventures to flesh out real-life issues but also introduces the latest management thinking on social innovation in daily business decision. This book makes a useful contribution in furthering the concepts of social innovation and entrepreneurship and inspiring more change agents to create and implement effective, scalable and sustainable solutions to address social issues and meet the needs of the disadvantaged groups in the society.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Kapap Academy: The "Everywoman" Hero (Sarah Lai-Yin Cheah and Luke Wu Shineng)

3. Eighteen Chefs: Serving Up Second Chances (Sarah Lai-Yin Cheah and Ou Hai-Ling)

4. NTUC Foodfare: Eating Well and Eating "Good" (Angeline Lim, Maw Der Foo and Sarah Lai-Yin Cheah)

5. Anthill Creations: Playscape for Slum Kids (Sarah Lai-Yin Cheah and Nawazish Parwez)

6. SELCO India: Lighting up Rural Lives with Solar Energy (Sarah Lai-Yin Cheah and Nawazish Parwez)

7. Socialgiver: Connecting Businesses, Consumers and Charities in Shopping for a Good Cause (Sarah Lai-Yin Cheah, Ou Hai-Ling)

8. Conclusions

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Sarah Lai-Yin Cheah is Associate Professor with the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, with research and practice in innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as early-stage technology incubation and commercialization. She is also faculty associate of the Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy (hosted by NUS Business School). Since 2014, she has taught more than 2,000 undergraduates on entrepreneurship and mentored many technology commercialization and startup projects. Her interest in entrepreneurship started in 2000 when she left a secure and well-paying job with a US multinational corporation to join the high-risk and high-churn startup workforce in Silicon Valley. After a few years of intensive scaling up to extend the startup footprint into Asia Pacific across a wide range of industries, Dr Cheah joined the NUS Entrepreneurship Centre in 2003. As Adjunct Assistant Professor, she helped build the local startup ecosystem by playing the role of educator in the Technopreneurship Minor Program, mentor and coach to aspiring student entrepreneurs. From her interaction with more than 150 startups, she has captured their insights as teaching cases in various publications.


'In the opening sentences of the book, the authors and editor powerfully contrast what appears to be two worlds: one powered by technology and resources, and the other lacking in basic human necessities. Skillfully, and in an engaging, readable manner, the authors and editor then steer us to actual case studies demonstrating that the two worlds could become one. This book demonstrates that social impact need not, indeed should not, be charity cases – financial sustainability is not inconsistent with but is necessary for positive social impact. It is an important study tool for all involved in the ecosystem for sustainable social innovation.'Ms Chia Yong Yong, BBM, PBM, President, SPD (formerly known as Society for the Physically Disabled) Board Member, SG Enable; Member, Tote Board Charity (Social Service) Sub-Committee Managing Director, Chia Yong Yong Law Corporation; Former Nominated Member of Parliament, Singapore

'Social Innovation: Asian Case Studies of Innovating for the Common Good is a unique case book on social innovation. While there are many cases on social innovation as the development of new social enterprises, there is a real demand for teaching materials on social innovation. This book provides excellent cases of social innovation addressing the needs of socially excluded groups ranging from underprivileged children and disadvantaged rural villagers to ex-offenders and victims of physical assault. Many cases have been written about non-profit organizations in the American or European context. This book presents cases from the innovative countries of Singapore, India and Thailand. It is certainly an excellent resource for understanding social innovation in the Asian context.'Mr Alfie Othman, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise, raiSE

'The issues of social marginalization, inequality and deprivation cannot be satisfactorily addressed only through traditional public sector policies and private sector-driven mechanisms. The cases featured in this book reveal critical success factors of social ventures targeting disadvantaged people from ex-offenders and youth-at-risk to the impoverished and vulnerable. Through social innovation, we can better social inclusion. This book has contributed significantly to the theory and practice of social innovation by enriching the narratives of social activism and providing intellectual rigor to the social discourse.'Ms Dolly Goh, JP, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore National Co-operative Federation

'For social entrepreneurs who want to think clearly about their motivation, the type of their entrepreneurship, business model and social or environmental impact, the book Social Innovation: Asian Case Studies of Innovating for the Common Good is an excellent companion for this worthwhile journey. For instructors of social innovation and social entrepreneurship, the book is written with specific learning objectives in mind, and comes with useful teaching notes. Students will also find that the well-researched narratives make accessible an apprehension of the challenges and issues in managing social impact and financial sustainability.'Dr Lam Swee Sum, Director, Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy; Associate Professor, Department of Finance, Business School, National University of Singapore

'This book offers valuable insights for social entrepreneurs to foster stronger communities and develop innovative solutions to address social and environmental problems. It demonstrates how intractable issues facing our society can be effectively tackled by leveraging strengths across sectors and disciplines for the common good. Based on a collection of interesting Asian cases, the book is structured around three main types of business models and guiding principles for effective entrepreneurial pursuits. This book is a must read for those who are operating or thinking of creating social enterprises.' Dr Vivien Lim, Deputy Head, Department of Management and Organization; Professor, Business School, National University of Singapore

'Social innovation is a hot topic today as people are exploring alternative way to help the people in need. The cases in the book provide us concrete examples of how we can envisage a better life in society, connect people with passion, and actualize the mission with innovative way. To me, the book is important as it fills the gap of existing literature.' — Ku Hok Bun, Associate Professor, Social Work and Human Service Management, Hong Kong Polytechnic University