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Taiwan to invest NT$8.8 billion in social innovation

Taiwan government to support social innovation and social entrepreneurs through new action plan

Audrey Tang.

Audrey Tang. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan Minister without Portfolio, Audrey Tang (唐鳳) said Taiwan will invest NT$8.8 billion (US$0.29 billion) over five years on social innovation to support social entrepreneurs in a Facebook post.

The "Social Innovation Action Plan" (社會創新行動方案) will pool resources from 12 ministries to improve Taiwan's social innovation, and promote Taiwan as a partner to solve the world's societal issues.

Tang said the action plan has three main features: to help achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be a means through which government ministries communicate and maintain momentum in innovation strategies, and to promote regulatory reform.

Social innovations are fresh ideas that address problems facing society, and often are a vehicle for new relationships and collaborations. The EU views social innovation as a way to effectively address the unmet needs of a society, and the EU Commission promotes it as a means to improve society and to boost employment.

Tang said the plan hopes to showcase Taiwan's "heartwarming power" through people-to-people exchange and improvement in the people's wellbeing.

Premier William Lai (賴清德) said Taiwan's efforts to promote SDGs shows that Taiwan is working in-line with OECD countries and is working towards President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) economic model that champions "innovation, employment and distribution," reported CNA.

Lai went on to say that social innovators face challenges like lack of capital and manpower, due to a lack of market awareness. He said that the government will work towards providing assistance to build a more supportive environment for social entrepreneurship.