Our members are creating social impact all around Asia and we at AVPN are proud to publicise their new investments, which are helping to target hot social issues such as women and health, prevent future natural disasters, as well as actively reshaping the future state of the world through education.
In the employment and livelihoods sector, ARUN is making huge strides. It is common knowledge jobs are very important because they link people to their community. Access to a job allows individuals and families to gain confidence and feel a sense of belonging whilst contributing to the community. New themes we have seen so far are related to women empowerment and engagement, such as ARUN’s Arjuni International Ltd. is a social enterprise that employs women who were victims of human trafficking to run a human hair extensions business.
Aside from women, another target demographic is children. Creative new ways of teaching children about financial education is a hot theme, especially with the wake of the recent debt crisis in Europe. Financial literacy from a young age is important, so that the young learn about public finances, pensions and how to budget for the future. Our member, Be Better in Shanghai, has invested in a few different programs, most notable of which is Agent Penny, a program using illustrated comic books and drama to teach saving and budgeting to primary school kids with main characters “Agent Penny” and “Will Power”. There is a cartoon series that will be distributed to all participating schools and can be downloaded from the official website for free (http://beini.licaiyoudao.org).
Influencing the future through children’s education is important, but actively acting on the present state of the world to prevent disasters is more time-sensitive and crucial. In the wake of climate change, forecasting the weather and predicting sudden climate changes is increasingly important for disaster aversion and to aid in farmers’ mid to long term planning. Oxfam has teamed up with the Earth Net Foundation and Centre of Climate Change Knowledge Management to create Thailand’s Community Weather Forecast Centre. It gives accurate climate readings at the district level and the accuracy rate has climbed up to 90% as of May 2014.
Lastly, we reach a topic that is close to everyone’s heart – health and mortality. Our member Quadria Capital specifically invests in the healthcare sector and one of their portfolio companies, HealthCare Global Enterprises (HCG), is the first and only oncology care network in India. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death and it is predicted that one in three people will get some form of cancer. HCG has contributed to the future of cancer care in India by using affordable yet cutting edge technology such as CyberKnife (a radiation equipment) and Varian TrueBeam Technology. All in all, our members are investing in many interesting portfolio companies that are effecting social change all over Asia.
Read more about ARUN, Oxfam, Be Better, SVHK, and Quadria Capital’s new investments in China, India and Cambodia here! If you are a member interested in showcasing your portfolio company, please feel free to email us at [email protected].