Yesterday, thenetworkone attended a CBBC briefing in London discussing Social Impact Measurement in the healthcare sector and specifically how it is developing in the Chinese market. The Chinese healthcare sector has been booming as their swelling population ages and elderly care needs are in high demand.

This event provided an introduction to Social Enterprise, Social Impact and Return on Investment Measurement in relation to the Chinese senior care sector. UK company Future Health Care Group (FHCG) and Red Ochre, a leading social enterprise consultancy based in London, are pioneering an innovative “social enterprise” model for developing and delivering quality elderly care training services in China and it is a good example of how a western company can provide a solution to a Chinese social problem (a developing market problem, really).

Here is a brief overview looking at what Red Ochre and FHCG have been doing in China and how it is being received. You can see the original interview here.

Social Enterprise – the “front-lines” in community focused public private partnerships. A CBBC interview with Robert Foster, Co-founder and Senior Consultant of Red Ochre, and Andrew Cowen, CEO of FHCG.

CBBC: Could you outline what you are doing and what you hope to accomplish?
First, some background. Social enterprises (SE) are organisations that use commercial models to address social issues. Opportunities for social enterprise typically lie within the mainstream economy where the market is failing, or is not functioning at an optimal level. SEs generally tend to be set up by driven individuals who see a problem relevant to them, and work hard to solve the problem in the fastest, cheapest and best way they know how – by creating agile, innovative micro and small to medium-sized enterprises. While national and multinational companies position themselves to provide for the top end of the market, provision for the mid-tier community elderly healthcare sector is usually relatively under-developed. In China, this is especially so at the community or neighbourhood level and also outside Tier 1-3 cities. Traditional businesses would not see a significant financial return in these segments. However, an SE that is concerned with solving a pressing problem and doing social good while making money on a commercial basis would certainly see these marginal areas as opportunities. Typically, SE start small and local, working with local government and communities to solve a pressing need. The value of SE initiatives is not just in the delivery of care services, but also in the information these service platforms create and hold. Harnessing this market – by which we mean the SE’s local community of care givers and receivers, who may number in the tens of thousands – means vast potential. Scaling microrevenuesor identifying and addressing new service needs dictated by data mining and analysis, for example, canspearhead exceptional spin-off potential.
CBBC: How are you going to do this?
Foster and Cowen: The concept of person-centred care combines knowledge and skills, research, experience and training. The situation in China is fragmented with too many companies each trying to do a piece, but proper person-centred care requires a holistic combination of all of these elements. The concept is not properly understood, and therefore the capability is not there and it is hard to develop. Study tours in the UK, exchanges in the UK and China and pilot training courses in China through local institutions are all part of a well-balanced programme. It requires time, planning, funding and the collection of required skillsets for training, management and in-community delivery. FHCG’s goal is to instil this concept and to improve elderly care through better standards, qualifications and training for elderly care workers. Red Ochre’s goal is to instil best practice through the SE model. That’s why we are here, working together with local governments in the community, academic
institutions, non-profit organisations and like-minded business partners in China – to let social enterprise lead the charge.