Thu, Jan 25, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Tsai orders Cabinet to aid development of social businesses

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

President and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen, left, bursts into laughter when chatting with DPP Central Executive Committee members at the party’s headquarters in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday instructed the Executive Yuan to improve the legal environment and the international visibility of the nation’s social enterprises to boost their development.

At a Democratic Progressive Party Central Executive Committee meeting, Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) briefed the president on the development of local social enterprises and the challenges they face.

The Company Act (公司法) defines a company solely as a profit-seeking business, but it should be expanded to include social welfare and altruistic organizations, Tang said.

Tsai announced three policy directions to help grow the social enterprise sector: improve the legal environment, create legal flexibility for innovative start-ups and increase social enterprise visibility.

The Cabinet last month submitted a set of draft amendments to act, some of which are essential to the development of social enterprises, as they would build a more friendly legal environment for them, Tsai said.

The president asked the Cabinet and financial authorities to give the entrepreneurship and innovation sector more leeway when reviewing applications.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Small and Medium Enterprise Administration has developed a regulatory sandbox mechanism to allow innovative start-ups to test new business models.

Improving the visibility of social enterprises is the government’s priority, with an Asia-Pacific social enterprise summit to be held in Taichung in May, Tsai said, adding that the central and local governments would work together to provide the necessary assistance to social businesses and the innovate industry.

“The biggest difference between social enterprises and other businesses is that the principal goal of social enterprises is to solve social issues,” she said.

“Social enterprises can reach to where the government cannot, so they can be the best partner of the government,” Tsai said. “The government has to help social enterprises solve management issues and give them more flexibility to practice their ideals.”

The administration has to practice its “open government” policy and ensure citizens cooperate with the private sector, she said.

“As a nation rich in technological innovation, Taiwan has the best foundation to encourage social innovation. Taiwanese like to share by nature and have flexibility in problem-solving, enabling them to export local social innovations overseas,” she said.

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