Top 12 Social Enterprises In Asia: Vote For Your Favourite
The Social Venture Challenge Asia is in its third year and is shortlisting the region’s top social enterprises (SEs). These purpose-driven companies, which carry out a social mission while earning a profit, are competing for the chance to win total prize money of $170,000 in seed funding. From over 1000 entries, 120 were chosen, and now, here are the judge’s picks for the Top 12. Vote for your favourite SE and the winner will receive the Asia For Good Readers’ Choice Award at the SVCA finals on September 15.
1. Aesir Hong Kong Using virtual and augmented reality, Aesir gamifies learning for children and adults with special needs. The Hong Kong-based company uses mobile apps and printed materials to teach everything from emotional health to increased focus.
2. Ants Workshop & Consultancy (工蚁坊咨询) A single ant may be tiny and insignificant – but together, they can help each other achieve much more. That’s the premise of Ants Workshop & Consultancy, a social enterprise that trains disadvantaged young women in employable skills, and provides NGOs and startups with consultancy services.
3. Arus Education Through its computer science programmes in Malaysian schools, Arus Education turns low-income students into inventors. Participants report higher confidence and public speaking skills and one even won a national level competition.
4. Blitab Technology Of the 285 million blind and visually impaired people worldwide, 150 million read Braille. Enter Blitab, the world’s first tactile tablet device for people with sight loss. It uses Braille and text-to-speech software to help the visually impaired to read, write surf and connect with friends.
5. engageSpark “Press 1 to learn more about Malaria. Press 2 for the farming tip of the week.” EngageSparks voice-response and SMS campaigns help NGOs reach communities who lack smartphone access, particularly helpful during disaster relief. \
6. I’mSoulInc Affordable, therapeutic music for people of all abilities – that’s the promise of I’mSoulInc. They use innovative tools and programmes to allow anyone to enjoy the healing power of music, including those with Parkinson’s and Down’s Syndrome.
7. Jeevtronics designs affordable medical devices for rural and underprivileged areas. Their hand-cranked defibrillator is reliable, life-saving and meets international standards.
8. Kruosar Solar Environmentally-friendly? Tick. Guilt-free? Tick. Reliable power supply? Tick. Through its local offices and micro-franchises, Kruosar brings solar power to Cambodian homes.
9. Nazava In rural Indonesia water is boiled over wood fires – which release harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. Five times cheaper than boiling water, Nazava’s water filters are an environmentally friendly alternative to clean drinking water.
10. OurCityLove SE A user-generated dining app for persons with disabilities, Our City Loves rates restaurants on food, service and accessibility.
11. Siam Organic Siam Organic’s Jasberry™ rice is highly nutritious and organic, but best of all, its farmers earn 7.7 times more than conventional rice farmers on average.
12. Socialgiver With Socialgiver, you get a good deal and worthy causes get a donation. The website offers discount vouchers for hotel stays, restaurants and even theatre tickets, then makes a donation to a charity.
Inspired by these social enterprises? Vote for your favourite to help them win the Asia For Good Readers' Choice Award at the Social Venture Challenge Asia. For more on the region's best SEs, read our story about the 120 Social Enterprises to Watch For In Asia - as shortlisted by SVCA's judges.
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