ARUN Newsletter No.33 February 2014


In This Issue
<2> Series: Social Evaluation
<3> Partner’s Essay
<4> Book Review for Understanding Social Investment
<5> News and Activities
<6> Editor’s Note

< 1 >Foreword

Thank you for your continual support for ARUN.
ARUN is a Limited Liability Company with 98 investors (private and incorporated).
We aim to support social enterprises in developing countries through investments, while building a social investment platform originating in Japan.

Today, I am going to introduce you to ARUN’s new investment. iKure Techsoft is a social venture business that operates a healthcare sector in West Bengal, India. The company’s founder, Sujay worked as an IT engineer for IBM, Oracle, etc., then started iKure after his own father’s illness. Using his IT skills, he strives to improve the rural medical care. Inspired by Sujay’s mission and his dedication, iKure attracts professionals including doctors who worked in International medical institutions and people who earned their MBA from top schools in India and overseas. It is a stock worth your attention that corroborates with local Rotary Clubs and attracts support from the angel investors. iKure is selected to be the final presenter at Sankalp, a social enterprise focused summit scheduled in April in Mumbai, India. ARUN is planning to collaborate with Intellecap, the organizer of Sankalp to visit India, and is exploring the possibility of holding Sankalp in Japan. We are excited to be a part of the development of social business in India!

In Tokyo, we have opened a social investment school this month, responding to growing requests for a place to learn about social investment systematically. We hope that by learning together we can encourage people to take the first step. The three-part seminars are lead by ARUN partners. The theme for the first day is “Social Investment Global Trends and Cases in Japan.” The instructor is an ARUN partner, who works for a think tank and is the renowned researcher of community development and social business. The first class of students consist of 10 people with different backgrounds such as fund manager, business owner, NPO worker and student, ages ranging from 20’s to 60’s. The diversity brings heated discussions.

They are enthusiastic and we are happy with positive feedback. It also reminds us that social investment is not only providing opportunity to invest, but also opportunity to work with innovative people. We will continue the school throughout the year. Please join us!

<2>Series: Social Evaluation

What is the criteria of “success” in social investment and impact investment? – Mounting Importance of Social Monitoring and Evaluation.

By Takara Tsuzaki, ARUN Partner

In the previous segment (the 2nd), I introduced the types of social evaluation method currently used in the world. In this segment, I would like to further explore ARUN’s social investment monitoring methods, its timeline, and setting of indicators based on the real examples.

At ARUN, we spend several months carefully gathering information and interviewing potential investments (entrepreneurs, businesses) with our local office, and analyse the information, which leads to the investment decision. Usually, in the context of social investment, including impact investment, when we talk about “evaluation of social business,” it’s focus is after the investment decision is made; in other words, monitoring during the repayment and then giving a final evaluation after the full repayment. In reality, however, we need to start even before the talk of investment. We need to start at the very beginning of the information gathering stage, to see if the products and services that the business offers has the potential to have social impact, as well as whether the entrepreneur has the leadership, he/she has the enthusiasm for social problem solving, and whether they have the ability to produce realistic plans for solutions.

Continues HERE (in Japanese)

<3>Partner’s Essay

I Ran the Charity Marathon
by A.C., ARUN Partner

I would like to give you a report of the 18th Angkor Wat International Half Marathon that I participated in, held on December 1st of last year.
Before talking about the day, I will share my impression of visiting Cambodia after 10 years.
In every aspect, I was astonished by the changes the city has made. Especially, the increase in the traffic was shocking. I used to use a motorbike taxi (motodop) as the main transportation method, but with so many cars, it became too dangerous to use it. I understand why tuk tuks (a carriage with seats pulled by a motorbike) increased and became more popular. I gave up riding motodops and used this new transportation method, tuk tuk, as the main mean of transportation during my trip.
Continues HERE

<4>Book Review: Understanding Social Investment

“Dai Yon no Shouhi” (The Fourth Consumption) by Satoshi Miura

Reviewed by Akiko Naganuma

Recently, I often encounter words such as “sharing,” “connection, and communication”. It may be that we live in the mature society and these are the keywords that people need. This book explains the view that we are in the fourth stage of the “consumption society”

Continues HERE (in Japanese)


(1) New Investment in an Indian Enterprise

As we mentioned in the Forward, we are excited to announce our new investment. iKure Techsoft provides health care services in India. Please read about iKure Techsoft that provides health care services in India from the portfolio section of our website. (In the image at the top of this email, third person from the left is the founder of iKure, Mr. Sujay Santra.)
iKure Techsoft

(2) We Started a Pinterest Account – Try Run
We wanted to share the photos ARUN partners have taken in various parts of the world. We wanted to share them with you and created a Pinterest account. We don’t have many boards yet, but please check it out.
ARUN Pinterest

(3) HUB Tokyo Event “Epic Stories – Pavan Sukhdev”

Guest speaker, Pavan Sukhdev, an entrepreneur who paints the picture of the progressive companies that value sustainability, gives a speech. Although not many names are known in Japan, there are many entrepreneurs who strive to change the social systems. HUB Tokyo gives an interesting lecture series entitled “Epic Stories.”. Below is the invitation for the second of the series.

Event title: EPIC Stories – The Adventures of Systematic Change-makers
Date: Wednesday, February 19th
Location: HUB Tokyo
Fee: 2,000 yen (pre-registration)

Guest is Mr. Pavan Sukhdev, former Deutsche Bank economist and the leader of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (“TEEB”) project. At Yale University, Mr. Sukhdev wrote his book “Corporation 2020,”, and he has been a visionary leader, leading the way to businesses’ sustainable future. He evaluates and consults corporations’ environmental impacts and their own assessment and management of the ecosystem. He is the Founder-CEO of GIST Advisory and serves on the boards of Conservation International.

With Conservation International Japan, it is a chance to learn more about his entrepreneurial spirit, that has not been talked much in his previous speeches including the TED talk: Put a Value on Nature! The lecture is followed by a casual cocktail hour. We encourage those of you who are in the environmental projects, CSR projects, and who want to make change in the social structure, to join us.

Please visit the link below for more information and Pavan Sukhdev’s profile.

<6>Editor’s Note

As mentioned in the previous Newsletter, the Social Investment School series is underway. It is called “school” so the participants can network in a small group setting and learn more about social investment. The participants are loving this opportunity. We want many more of you to take advantage of such events and will strive to get the word out. Stay tuned! (K.S.)

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