Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang (ninth right) and Small and Medium Enterprise Administration Director-General Ho Chin-tsang (eighth right) are joined by officials and winners of the Asia Pacific Social Innovation Partnership Award during the Asia Pacific Social Enterprise Summit May 11 in southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung City. (Courtesy of MOEA)
The Asia Pacific Social Enterprise Summit wrapped up May 12 in southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung City, bolstering regional cooperation in using innovative commercial strategies and technologies to promote public well-being.
Co-organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the two-day event gathered more than 1,000 attendees for panels, speeches and workshops involving 60 officials and experts from over 25 countries and territories. Keynote speakers included Shiza Shahid, founder of the Malala Fund and NOW Ventures, and Tonya Surman, CEO of Toronto-based Center for Social Innovation.
The event focused on seven major topic areas related to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals: circular economy, climate action, corporate social innovation, marine ecology, social empowerment and partnerships, and technological innovation.
According to the MOEA, Taiwan’s commitment to fostering social enterprises is evidenced by the launch of its social innovation action plan in 2018. This initiative is targeted at strengthening sector development, promoting the SDGs, fostering international connections in the field and showcasing the nation’s soft power.
This summit is expected to bolster these efforts by deepening regional collaboration and sharing experiences and best practices, the ministry said.
In addition to talks, the event included a showcase of products and services developed by some 60 Taiwan-based social enterprises, and the first Asia Pacific Social Innovation Partnership Award.
Organized by the MOEA, the competition attracted 62 applications from 13 countries and territories. The judging panel of international social innovation experts awarded prizes to 11 enterprises from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore for their work in such fields as cleaning services and green energy.