ARUN Newsletter No.24 March 2013

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In our Newsletter, we explain ARUN’s activities and social investments.

Our readers’ interests vary: some are interested in social investment, while others are interested in Cambodia.  Let’s think together about social investment and its future!

 

ARUN Newsletter   No.24  March 2013

 

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<1> Forward                                                                      By Satoko Kono, President

<2> 3rd Year Anniversary Symposium Report                    By Masahiro Takano, ARUN LAB

<3> Frontier of Social Investment in India Part 3              By Masahiro Takano, ARUN LAB

<4> Future activities

<5> Afterword

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<1> Forward                                                                      By Satoko Kono, President

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Thank you for your continual support for ARUN.

 

ARUN is a Limited Liability Company with 87 investors (private and incorporated).

We aim to support social enterprises in Cambodia through investments, while building a social investment platform originating in Japan.

 

Recently, a business plan contest was held in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, gathering students from the Mekong Region. The participants were 10 teams selected from Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. In the past 7 years, the contest had been held in Phnom Penh, but this year, for the first time, it was held in Myanmar. The Asian representatives of Google, Standard Chartered Company, PWC, etc. lined up as the judges, and the participants gave enthusiastic presentations.

 

The gold medal went to the “Moringa Tea” from the Team Laos. Moringa is native to India, and is attracting attention as a health product with rich mineral and vitamin contents. During the judging, they were challenged by the practical questions such as the price comparison with the same amount of Coke and the nutritional comparison with the same amount of milk, but the team fought well by answering questions patiently. Their approach of conducting repeated research on sample products for improvements and their seriousness toward the realization of the business plan were evaluated highly. The silver medal went to the Vietnam team, and the bronze medal went to the Cambodian team.

 

The contest was supported fully by the Myanmar Chamber of Commerce. The head of the Commerce attended the opening day dinner, and he expressed Myanmar’s determination to go forward with the development in the new era, and emphasized the importance of entrepreneurial spirits. A young business manager of an IT business made a speech and shared his experience of studying in the United States and starting up a new business on his own after returning. I was impressed with his honest and passionate presentation. While staying in Yangon, I had some wonderful opportunities to meet local social entrepreneurs, as well as those who run a business school that focuses on social business networking, some Japanese among them.

(For more information on the business plan contest, please visit: https://sites.google.com/site/mekongchallenge/

and our Japanese blog article on our website:  http://www.arunllc.jp/blog/?p=484 )

 

ARUN is also planning to extend our social investment network from Cambodia to Laos, Myanmar and India. Please read also in this issue of the newsletter, an ARUN LAB member give a report of a social business in India.

 

Thank you very much for your support.

 

Satoko Kono

 

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<2>  3rd Year Anniversary Symposium Report         Masahiro Takano, ARUN LAB

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Here is a summary of the report of the last month’s event with Dr. Seiichiro Yonekura of Hitotsubashi University and Mr. Daisuke Iwase, Vice President of the Lifenet Life Insurance Company.

(For complete article in Japanese, please visit the blog page of our website:

[http://www.arunllc.jp/blog/?p=354])

 

The fact that Dr. Yonekura and Mr. Iwase, those who are in the front line of the business world, are participating in the social investment discussion is significant. In the past, the investors and the financial institutions that solely seek maximum profits and the donations and the supports that pursue social meanings were in the polar opposites. Now, a gray area between the two exists, and new markets are being born in this middle area. ARUN seems to be the one that decides to dive into this gray area before anybody, and is trying to cultivate the new market. I would like to continue supporting ARUN’s endeavors.

 

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<3>  Frontier of Social Business in India Part 3     Tomohiro Takano, ARUN LAB

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Mr. Takano who organized the symposium report, has been contributing also the reports from India where he had precious internship experience in a social enterprise.  This is Part 3, the last of the series.

(Please follow the link to the blog for the complete report in Japanese:[http://www.arunllc.jp/blog/?p=380])

 

It seems that the movement to acquire ownership of the new businesses are increasing in the world of social business and BOP business. In India, Fabindia is well known as a business that operates with community owned companies, which have local craft persons as shareholders. Professor Yunus who is famous for developing the concept of microcredit himself also promotes businesses owned by the poor as the second type of social business. It shares the concept of community business, as the beneficiaries of the business themselves have the ownerships.

 

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<4> Future activities

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The investment information session was held on March 23rd. Thank you for those who participated.

We will announce the future information sessions on our home page.

 

(ARUN Homepage: [http://www.arunllc.jp/])

 

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<5>  Afterword

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Toyota’s hybrid car, Aqua (Prius c) is selling well, and monthly sales quickly surpassed the original HV Prius. One of the reasons is the Aqua Social Fes campaign. This campaign promotes social activities related to the water all over Japan and has been successful in reaching out to the “blue ocean” clients. Because this is a campaign, rather than the CSR, it is easy to understand why the corporate performance, customers, and the society can all win. It will be exciting to see more of such models emerging.

 

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ARUN Newsletter No.24 March 2013

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Issued by: ARUN LLC.

[Edit] PR Team pr@arunllc.jp

[WEB] www.arunllc.jp

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