Promoting social enterprises in Taiwan is a top priority of the government and the public is urged to support these entities in making them a paragon of private sector success, Premier Lai Ching-te said Nov. 27.
A raft of government measures fostering the development of social enterprises is underway, Lai said, citing the launch last month of Taipei City-headquartered Social Innovation Lab. Overseen by Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang, SIL is tasked with coordinating related agencies and organizing public meetings nationwide to assist those aspiring to become social entrepreneurs.
The premier made the remarks while opening the Social Enterprise Finance Forum in Taipei. Organized by National Chengchi University and several locally based businesses and nongovernmental organizations under the auspices of Taipei City Government, the inaugural event examines related issues facing Taiwan social enterprises.
According to Lai, government funding is key to the long-term viability of social enterprises. This is already taking place through such initiatives as the Small Business Innovation Research program and Small and Medium Enterprise Credit Guarantee Fund administered by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, as well as similar initiatives for startups by the Ministry of Science and Technology and Cabinet-administered National Development Fund, he said.
The premier singled out the banking sector as another source of support, highlighting recent regulatory revisions by the Financial Supervisory Commission making it possible for investment holdings firms to back new social enterprises. A fund valued at NT$100 billion (US$3.33 billion) is estimated to be available for such purposes.
At the same time, several pieces of legislation will help create a business environment more conducive to social enterprises, Lai said. These include amendments to the Statute for Industrial Innovation clearing the way for tax incentives, and the act governing the recruitment and employment of foreign professionals.
Going forward, the premier believes the forum will also serve as a valuable platform for exchanging ideas and sharing experiences on enhancing social awareness. It is hoped more individuals will commit themselves to the sector so as to promote innovation and awareness of social issues and sustainable development, he said.
Source: Taiwan Today