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How was Synergy Social Ventures started?
Abbie Jung and Jana Svedova started Synergy in 2011 to help early stage socially-driven social entrepreneurs in Asia who are solving major social, economic and environmental challenges with revenue-generating business models. We created Synergy to support these young, passionate, driven and resourceful social entrepreneurs grow their organizations into sustainable and financially independent ventures and hence amplify the positive and long-term impact they have on society. Synergy actively champions innovative new models of philanthropy and is committed to building a thriving and collaborative ecosystem of support and resources for social entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
What is the mission of Synergy Social Ventures?
Synergy believes in the power of entrepreneurship to solve some of the world’s biggest problems and in the power of philanthropy to catalyze these solutions. This is why we operate at the fulcrum where ideas and resources come together to create social change.
Our mission is to accelerate the development and impact of social entrepreneurial ideas and solutions. We do this by:
- -Identifying promising early stage social ventures and support them in strengthening their organizations and growing impact.
- -Helping philanthropists develop and implement their philanthropic investment strategies and facilitate effective capital flow to social ventures.
What is Synergy Social Ventures’ geographical focus?
We are based in Hong Kong and San Francisco and support social entrepreneurs in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. We work with individual philanthropists, corporations and foundations from all over the world.
What are Synergy Social Ventures’ goals for Hong Kong specifically?
As Hong Kong is our home, we want to support the local social entrepreneurship and philanthropic ecosystem. We have a virtual Help Desk and will soon hold Office Hours at Paperclip (a co-working space in Sheung Wan) so we can serve as a sounding board for aspiring or early stage social entrepreneurs in Hong Kong. We work with both nonprofit and for-profit social ventures.
We have Synergy Giving Circles – an experiential philanthropic education program for aspiring philanthropists and a philanthropic advisory service for individual and institutional clients. We also want to contribute to Hong Kong’s sustainability in all aspects, from the environment, food safety and security, healthy lifestyles and are organizing Hong Kong’s first Sustainability Festival. Stay tuned for more information!
How can Hong Kongers get involved with Synergy Social Ventures?
We would love for individuals with social change ideas or ventures to reach out to us to see how we can help them grow their impact.
We would love for individuals who want to donate their time, money, networks or other invaluable resources to contact us with their interests and ways they want to support social ventures in Hong Kong and Asia.
We would love to hear from businesses/corporations who want to learn more about how they can support social entrepreneurship and social ventures in Hong Kong and Asia through their philanthropic, CSR or employee engagement programs or by integrating them into their supply chain.
Lastly, we would love to hear from schools and universities who are interested to learn about ways they can educate and encourage their students to think about addressing social issues in innovative and entrepreneurial ways.
What are some of your favorite charities, other than Synergy Social Ventures of course?
Our favorite charity in Hong Kong is SolarLEAP which provides solar-powered computers to rural schools that do not have access to electricity. Charles Watson, the founder of SolarLEAP, exemplifies the type of inspiring, passionate, hard-working and resourceful social entrepreneur we seek to support. Charles started building and installing his solar-powered computer labs around the world at age 18, soon after graduating from Hong Kong International School.
All photos courtesy of Synergy Social Ventures.