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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Competition seeks health-care ideas

By Fei Lai (Shanghai Daily)

08:01, November 16, 2011

Rather than relying on government or business sectors to address social needs, social entrepreneurs are coming up with innovative and sustainable solutions, delivering results and improving the lives of millions of people around the world.

Social entrepreneurship, like philanthropy, is new to China. The global organization Ashoka, named after a benevolent Indian ruler in the 3rd century BC, aims to identify and invest in individuals and organizations that are doing important, practical work on social issues, especially health care.

Ashoka has no office on the Chinese mainland, though there is a Hong Kong office. Representatives recently visited Shanghai and expressed hope that the organization would attract interest from social entrepreneurs on the mainland.

Asia is the birthplace of Ashoka. Since its establishment in 1981, Ashoka has identified nearly 600 leading social entrepreneurs in nine Asian countries, from Pakistan in the west to Indonesia in the east.

Ashoka fellows in Asia are contributing to cutting edge of individual development as well as the regional and global economic development, education, women's rights, health care and other fields, says Joan Shang from Hong Kong, a senior associate of Ashoka China.

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