THE organizing committee of the upcoming China Charity Fair announced yesterday that methods for social enterprises to be certified will be launched during the fair to be held from Sept. 18 to 20 in Shenzhen. Social enterprises are groups that operate to help society, but also rely on commercial business for revenue.
“China has had an increasing number of social enterprises in recent years, but there’s no standard certification or assistance program for these enterprises,” said a person in charge of the committee.
Certification will be issued by five charity institutions in China including the China Charity Federation.
It will be the first time that nongovernmental social enterprises will be certified in China, paving the way for charitable social enterprises to be more widely recognized and expand their roles in society.
Unlike normal corporations, social enterprises are organizations that make a profit while helping people in need. These enterprises emphasize social values over economic profits.
In China, social enterprises lack legal support and don’t get tax breaks. They need to be registered like any other business.
It is hard for social enterprises to get venture capital, loans and donations as charities are more likely to make donations to conventional NGOs.
Social enterprises often struggle for money initially as they are neither conventional for-profit nor nonprofit organizations.
To be certified social enterprises need to set goals to help society. Over half of the enterprise’s income should come from commercial sources like selling a product or providing a service.
The federation will provide money and training to certified social enterprises.
A panel will also be set up to review and inspect certified companies. Groups that fail inspections will be fined or disqualified.
The application window for social enterprise certification started Sept. 2 and will end at 6 p.m. Sept. 17. Applicants can fill out forms through the China Charity Federation’s official website.