On 15-16 July in Berlin, Germany, a joint initiative of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and the British Council on Developing a Better Policy Context for Social Enterprises in Asia and Europe brought together over 40 Asian and European high-level policy influencers on social enterprise.

The event started off with the visit to local social enterprise sites in Berlin on the first day. The participants visited Social Impact Lab, which offers a physical space for working, interaction and exchange, as well as consulting and training, shared services and events. Other local social enterprises were also introduced, such as Ruby Cup Fairnopoly. Participants discussed how local social entrepreneurs face specific policy challenges.

On the same day evening, a public event was organised, where entrepreneurs Penny NEWMAN from the UK and Muhammad A. ALI from Bangladesh spoke on The Role of Social Enterprise in Developing a Sustainable Global Economy. Following their presentations, speakers and members of the audience discussed similarities and differences in the development of Asian and European social enterprise arena.

The second day was dedicated to a policy dialogue on four topics: 1) Social Enterprise and public service delivery; 2) Growing the Social Investment market; 3) Regulatory and tax frameworks to support the work of Social Enterprise; and 4) Evidencing Social Impact. Each topic session began with introductory presentations from Asia and Europe, followed by group discussions to come up with specific recommendations. Mr Peter HOLBROOK, Chair of Social Enterprise World Forum, facilitated the entire policy dialogue.

A short policy report summing up the outcome of the policy dialogue was put together and will be disseminated to relevant audiences in all ASEM members.

For highlights from the project, click here

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