Terry Yan, Social Enterprise, C2

Terry Yan, Social Enterprise, C2

Today is Friday, it is awesome. Good evening, everyone, I’m Terry.

First, today, I want to share with you my dream. Did you have any dreams when you were a child? Yes, I did! When I was little, I wanted to work in a foreign company in the future, like Google or Yahoo. They are international and well-paid. However, the foreign companies always require great English ability. So, I studied English very hard.


Few weeks ago, I had an English examination, TOEIC. The result was announced last week. So,  how was the result? Does anyone want to take a guess? The score goes to…. 260~ Yes, 260! What a “cute" number; cuter than Sophie. My heart was broken. I was so upset. I talked the result to my best friend, Mark. He replied: “Don’t worry, Terry. It’s fine. I know an American enterprise. It makes money, and the working hour is not too long, well-paid, and most important of all, TOEIC 260 is also OK."

“Really? Sounds great, which company?”

“It is McDonald.”

OK, McDonald is like all the other traditional companies, their target is to make money, more money is much better. Even though they pollute the environment or sell fake materials. On the other hand, non-profit organizations don’t make money; they try to solve social problems, for example, education opportunities, housing, pollution, poverty, and so on. But they don’t make money; they need other people to donate to them. Today, I want to introduce you a new type of business model, Social enterprise. What is Social enterprise? It is a combination of the traditional company and the non-profit organization. They solve the social problems, but they also make money; they don’t need other’s donation.

How do they work? Let me give you a simple example. Does anyone know The Big Issue? You must have seen people selling magazines at the MRT stations or at street corners in Taipei. Just like this. This is a kind of social enterprise. The company is trying to help the homeless, but they don’t want to just give them money. So, they publish a magazine, and only the homeless can sell it. At first, they give ten magazines to the homeless. Each magazine is priced at $100. If the homeless sells them all out, he will earn $1000. Then he could use this money to buy the magazines from the Big Issue by $50 for each or to buy anything he wants. I have seen The Big Issue, the magazine is full of new things, social issue, and art. If you buy one, you not only get a good magazine, but also help people. This protocol makes the homeless have the ability to earn and retain their dignity.

This is one of social enterprise, and there are thousand of social enterprises running in the world. Let me give you another example. Do you know “Microfinance"? There are some people who only need a little money, maybe a few thousand dollars, to run a small business or to maintain their living. But these people are so poor, that they are not bankable, the regular banks will not want to loan them money. In Bangladesh, there is a bank called Grameen bank. The bank lends these people money, just a few thousand dollars, and has very low interest rates. This is a small loan, known as microfinance, but it gives these people a chance to restart their life and continue their living. What’s more, the repayment rate is very high, nearly 100 %.

There are many social problems in our country. And the Social enterprise is a newborn business model; it still has a long way to go. Today, I am not going to convince you to do social enterprise or solve any social problems. I just want you know there are some people doing these things, and they are trying to make the world better. After you study, go dating, or do anything you like, I hope you can keep an eye on our country, and our world. Because, this is the place where we had born and grow. For me, I think we should not only live our lives fully, but also think about what we can do for others. I still want to say a lot of things, but time is limited. So if you want to know more about social enterprises, we can chat more at the break time. TME

Evaluated by Richard Lin




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