Operating from China, with programs throughout Asia, FYSE inspires, connects and accelerates social entrepreneurs and the field that supports them. We envision a world in which social entrepreneurs have the skills, resources and network to significantly address social and environmental challenges. We have 3 objectives:
1.Incubate and Accelerate High-Impact Women Social Entrepreneurs
2.Facilitate a system-wide change for youth by building capacity in social entrepreneurship education
3.Empower and grow a pool to entrepreneurs to address the significant social and environmental challenges in Asia
Since 2009 the Paragon fellowship has built the capacity of young social entrepreneurs in 10 countries. Since 2011 we’ve operated Spark:Her, which aims to inspire more women to become social entrepreneurs through role modelling, incubating and scaling women-led social enterprises.What obstacles have you overcome?
Operating from China with programs in Asia has its own unique challenges: firstly legal registration as a non-profit is almost impossible in China, therefore also not permitting us to fundraise publicly. Secondly it has become increasingly difficult to bring funds raised abroad into China, therefore limiting our financial resources. To circumvent these challenges we have registered as a non-profit in Hong Kong with representative office in China, and in addition over the past 2 years we have been negotiating with the Bureau of Civil Affairs in Beijing to become a non-profit on the mainland to operate fully legally.
Secondly, language is a major barrier to operate regionally, as many social entrepreneurs do not speak English and support requires delivery in various languages.
Thirdly, operating as a foreigner in China presents challenges in itself, as one is always viewed as “external” and not as part of the community due to language and cultural barriers. This impacts especially legal registration, as the Ministry is not keen to take the risk of sponsoring a foreign-led organization.
To facilitate the development of our sector we published research about youth entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, which is available for download and additionally distributed through webinars etc.
To enable knowledge transfer among social entrepreneurs in China we host peer-learning sessions, a social network www.group.ps/socialinnovationmeetup, weekly social innovation newsletter and podcast with interviews of social entrepreneurs and featuring management issues relevant to social enterprises.
Andrea Krause | FYSE | China
www.fyse.org | @fyse @sparkher @An_Kra