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H1 AVPN SessionReport - Human Capital Intermediaries

H1 AVPN SessionReport - Human Capital Intermediaries

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Published by kevin_teo_22
H1 AVPN SessionReport - Human Capital Intermediaries
H1 AVPN SessionReport - Human Capital Intermediaries

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Published by: kevin_teo_22 on May 26, 2014
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<Title of session> Parallel Breakouts on Human Capital: Human Capital Intermediaries <Date and time of session> Wednesday 14
 May 2014
 2:45pm Moderator: Patsian Low (National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre) Panels: Sadeesh Raghavan (Investor, Board of Acumen Fund), Peter Yang (Empact), Tomomi Shimizu (Kamonohashi Project), Namita Vikas (YES BANK) Session reporter: Yumi Fujita Summary of the content of the session:
There are different actors in the ecosystem of venture philanthropy; namely Social Organizations who work with communities and beneficiaries; Capital Providers who provides Social Organizations with financial, intellectual and human capital; and Intermediaries who ensure those capitals are adequately and effectively allocated to Social Organizations. The focus of this session is the relationship between these three actors and the role of intermediaries, as well as how the allocation of capital can be done in the most adequate and effective way. The panels share their views from the perspectives of each of the three actors
from the individual capital provider’s perspective, Namita from the corporate capital provider’s perspecti
ve, Tomomi from the social
organization’s perspective, and
Peter from the intermediary
’s perspective.
 As an investor, one of the key screening criteria when investing in social enterprises is whether they have a right people to drive the business. However, it is not always the case that the organization has the functional and/or technical capability to deal with things like legal, accounting and administration matters, in which the need for intermediaries is quite significant. The challenges in delivering such human capital effectively lie in both the provider and the recipient sides of the capital. For example, there could be a cultural difference in between the two parties; there might be a resistant to receive the capital in the management of the social enterprise; and there might be an expectation gap between the two. The role of investors is to help navigate such processes of matching the two.
 When you look at the entire value chain of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), not
only external intermediaries, but also employees of corporation are strong “social impactors”
because they create multiplier effects. For corporations, the key is who and how they work with, as well as how to measure the social impact, since they have obligations to report to their investors. In YES Bank, the important thing for effective allocation of the human capital is to ensure the employees work in the areas of their interests and that the service provided to the community matches what is really needed on the ground.
 As a non-profit organization operating in Japan, Kamonohashi Project has worked with several intermediaries and corporate volunteers that are dispatched through them. One of the successful examples was that an intermediary adequately identified the needs of our organization and allocated volunteers with the right skill sets. This was made possible since the intermediary itself
 understood the languages of both non-profit and business sectors. On the other hand, other corporate volunteers, who were dispatched through another intermediary, could not perform very well, as they were used to work in an established environment, and not in a non-structured environment. For corporate volunteers, it seems to be better for their personal growth if they are dispatched through the intermediaries. This is because they feel they can multiply the effect of their contributions by interacting and collaborating with other professionals.
 The role of Empact is a middleman bridging both capital providers and social organizations, translating the languages between non-profits and corporates. We spend a lot of time on understanding what the two parties are looking for and help them understand each other. Also, it is important as an intermediary to know the real needs of social organizations in order to effectively
match the volunteers’ skill sets. This is done by translating
 from their problems to actionable items, uncovering their blind spots. On the other hand, m
anaging corporates’ expectations
 is also significant, making sure that the objectives of the corporates and what social enterprises can gain balance. Lastly, Empact makes sure that the volunteers gain something from their learning journeys.
Questions from the Audience:
How long can intermediaries survive without subsidies until when the intermediary market scales up, with both capital providers and social enterprises not wanting to pay for the services? -
There is a potential competition going on between major firms, who provide social organizations with pro bono work, and small consulting organizations, who try to do intermediary work seeking for profits. Such pro bono-base work by major firms can potentially crowd out the smaller firms, whereby the profitable market for intermediaries cannot be adequately developed.
 Social enterprises should examine whether their organizations can be truly benefited from the services provided and determine whether to pay and if so, who they should pay to. Subsidies can be used for something that is not directly related to the core business of the social enterprises but somehow affects your business, for example. If the social organization is a nonprofit model, things get fuzzier, but the key is to what are the metrics
 There is no perfect model on how to engage with intermediaries. One of the important criteria for corporates and intermediaries to work together is how they can collaborate with each other and what kind of chemistry the two parties have.

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