Leping Foundation: Introducing Venture Philanthropy to China

Lydia J. Price (First Author), Liman Zhao (Participant Author)

Research output: Other contributionCase Studies


The case explores the challenges and opportunities of practicing venture philanthropy in an emerging market. Jaff Shen, a serial social entrepreneur and Founder/General Secretary of Leping Social Entrepreneur Foundation ("Leping") brought the international venture philanthropy network Social Venture Partners ("SVP") to China in 2012 to help build China’s overall civil society and proclivity for social entrepreneurship. SVP's Beijing branch was launched as a non-profit in 2013 and attracted thirty partners who invested in four education-related social enterprises within the first two years of operation. SVP Shanghai followed in 2016, registering as a for-profit company for greater flexibility in the context of China’s strong non-profit regulations. Given some freedom to develop its own path, SVP Shanghai evolved more slowly than Beijing, enrolling 11 partners within the first year without making any investments. Students are asked to explain the reasons for Shanghai's slow growth, and then critically evaluate a strategy suggested to Shen for accelerating the progress. They must take a stand in Shen's internal debate about whether to push a fast top-down strategy or tolerate a slower-paced bottom-up trajectory. Students also have the opportunity to compare four different SPO investment opportunities shortlisted by SVP Shanghai's partners for their initial investment, and to propose an evaluative framework for screening the potential targets and subsequently monitoring the investment outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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China Europe International Business School


  • China
  • Social Innovation
  • social entrepeneurship
  • venture philanthropy

Case studies discipline

  • Social Enterprise
  • Ethics & Social Responsibility

Case studies industry

  • Other Services


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