AVPN will actively support 5 nonprofits’ projects leveraging Digital Transformation to support underprivileged communities and small business owners affected by COVID-19 for one year.
Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN, Chief Executive Naina Subberwal Batra), Asia’s largest network of impact investors and social innovation institutions, in partnership with Merry Year Social Company (MYSC, CEO Jeongtae Kim), have selected five nonprofit organisations to receive unrestricted programmatic funding through its $1 Million Digital Transformation Fund. The Fund will support digital transformation projects to impact underserved communities and small business owners in South Korea that were affected by the COVID-19. This was made possible with the support of Google.org.
On 14th August, AVPN and MYSC hosted a “Digital Transformation Fund Orientation” event at its Heyground with the five selected nonprofit organizations to specify and develop their project plans, which was launched in July. The five organizations selected to be supported via AVPN’s Digital Transformation Fund with a competition rate of 5.6 to 1 were JUMP, YBSedu, Jeju Olle, SWKorea, and Big Issue Korea. The selected nonprofits will each receive $173,000 (about 220 million Won) in funding to carry out year-long digital capacity-building and up-skilling projects to help the vulnerable communities, including impacted job seekers, small business owners, and so forth.
Selected Digital Transformation Projects will target a diverse range of beneficiaries
The five organisations have developed their projects to address the unique challenges faced in their affected local communities, in alignment with their key focus areas, network and internal competencies.
- JUMP and SWKorea will provide underserved job seekers with digital capacity building education and connect them with appropriate small businesses for employment. JUMP will target affected communities in non-metropolitan areas, while SWKorea will focus on persons with disabilities, working with an additional lens of inclusivity
- Meanwhile, YBSedu and Jeju Olle will respectively provide digital competency education to small traditional businesses around the Jeju Olle Trail that were impacted by the COVID pandemic, to use online platforms to keep their businesses afloat. By utilising QR codes and AR platforms to magazine sales that were traditionally sold offline by the vulnerable class, Big Issue’s project seeks to further expand support for greater self-reliance of the vulnerable class. The five digital transformation projects above centered on diversity and innovative models will be implemented over one year till July 2023.
Digital Transformation Fund’s Vision for Diversity and Inclusion
The focus of the Digital Transformation Fund, which was launched in November 2021, is to support local nonprofits’ projects to strengthen the digital capabilities of small business owners, small and medium-sized enterprises, and job seekers who suffered greatly from the aftermath of COVID-19. The ultimate goal is to contribute to inclusive and sustainable recovery of these communities through strengthening digital and technological capabilities.
With COVID-19 becoming increasingly endemic around the world, AVPN and MYSC believe that funders need to continually support local nonprofits through digital transformation, to be able to serve underserved communities and achieve a greater social impact.