This publication is the second in a series of ACSEP working papers concerned with what is termed 'entrepreneurial social finance' in Asia, which explores how philanthropy is responding to the financial and nonfinancial needs of the region's social entrepreneurs. The term philanthropy is most commonly associated with straightforward grant making, most usually making donations where all capital is lost and no return expected.
In modern practice, philanthropy is more sophisticated and diverse than this, wanting to utilise as many tools as possible with the goal of creating sustained social change. Recognising this, philanthropy is defined in this study, as the deployment of financial and human capital for primarily social impact.
For this reason, this paper investigates the growing interest in 'impact investing,' which seeks to use non-grant finance to maximise the social and financial outcomes by investing in social businesses.
This study employs an essentially qualitative methodology. The researchers conducted 40 face-to-face and telephone interviews in Singapore, India, China, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand between March and November 2012. In-depth interviews were chosen as the central component of the study to gain insight into the personal motivations of lead individuals who had founded or who are managing philanthropy organisations.