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Journal cover: Social Enterprise Journal

Social Enterprise Journal

ISSN: 1750-8614

Online from: 2005

Subject Area: Enterprise and Innovation

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Similarities and divergences: comparison of social enterprises in Hong Kong and Taiwan

Document Information:
Title:Similarities and divergences: comparison of social enterprises in Hong Kong and Taiwan
Author(s):Kam-Tong Chan, (Centre for Third Sector Studies, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China), Yu-Yuan Kuan, (Department of Social Welfare, National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi, Taiwan), Shu-Twu Wang, (Department of Social Work, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung, Taiwan)
Citation:Kam-Tong Chan, Yu-Yuan Kuan, Shu-Twu Wang, (2011) "Similarities and divergences: comparison of social enterprises in Hong Kong and Taiwan", Social Enterprise Journal, Vol. 7 Iss: 1, pp.33 - 49
Keywords:Hong Kong, Non-profit organizations, Social enterprise, Taiwan
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/17508611111130149 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – On the basis of a survey conducted in 2010,the purpose of this paper is to discuss the latest developments of social enterprises in Hong Kong and Taiwan by analysing the typology and nature of social enterprises in these two regions, their operating context, and their perceived social impacts. The institutional context and governmental policies appear to have had a great influence on the development of social enterprise in both these Chinese communities.

Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected through a survey conducted in both Hong Kong and Taiwan in 2010. A total of 116 completed questionnaires (return rate: 27.2 per cent) in Taiwan and 45 completed questionnaires (return rate 53.0 per cent) in Hong Kong were received.

Findings – Social enterprises in Hong Kong and Taiwan are in a “growth stage”, and they are becoming more diversified in both regions. Solving the problem of unemployment and alleviating poverty appear to be two major reasons pursued by NPOs when they set up a social enterprise. In addition, the analysis also revealed that the significance of social enterprises for helping marginal groups is increasingly recognised and that self-reliance is very much emphasised in both regions. Beside these similarities, there are also great differences between social enterprises in the two regions, be it in terms of respective importance, institutional context, marketing strategies or government policies.

Originality/value – By tracking the growth and development of social enterprises in Hong Kong and Taiwan from 2006 to 2010, this paper attempts to analyse the similarities and diversities of social enterprises in these two Chinese communities. It also attempts to shed light on the impacts of the institutional context and the governmental policies on shaping the future development of social enterprises.

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