Leping Foundation: Introducing Venture Philanthropy to China

Lydia J. Price, Liman Zhao

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 - 30 Jun 2019

Case number


Case normative number


Case type

Field Case

Update date



For more details, please visit www.chinacases.org

Published by

China Europe International Business School


  • venture philanthropy
  • social entrepeneurship
  • social innovation
  • China

Case studies discipline

  • Ethics & Social Responsibility
  • Social Enterprise

Case studies industry

  • Other Services


Dive into the research topics of 'Leping Foundation: Introducing Venture Philanthropy to China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this