Research Papers

Social Food Inc: Creating an Effective Social Enterprise through Vertical Integration Case Study

Social Food Inc. Abstract

This case study focuses on the growth challenges of a Singapore-based Social Enterprise, Social Food Inc. (SFI), that teaches food preparation skills to Persons with Disabilities to integrate them into the workforce. The case study explores how SFI had to modify its business model by adopting a strategy of vertical integration to ensure that it could maximize impact while maintaining its financial viability. The case also highlights the imperative need for Social Enterprises to collaborate with diverse stakeholders in the public and private domain to take on intractable social challenges.


IIX Women’s Livelihood Bond Blueprint Paper


IIX’s commitment-to-action to the Clinton Global Initiative, the first ISB, is the Women’s Livelihood Bond (WLB), a $10 million debt security designed to unlock capital for Impact Enterprises (IEs) and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) that are part of the sustainable livelihoods spectrum for women in South-East Asia. The WLB is projected to empower over 350,000 women with access to credit, to market linkages, to natural resources and to affordable goods and services. This will, in turn, help them transition from subsistence to sustainable livelihoods and redefine the dominant narrative from viewing women as victims to recognizing them as solutions to development, change and progress.

The Partnership between Banyan Nation, IIX, Shujog and KKR (2016)

Banyan Nation is a Hyderabad-based plastics recycling business that aims to formalize India’s recycling sector by offering a sustainable alternative for consumers, suppliers, workers and processors. The company sources plastic waste materials from aggregators before sorting and grading plastic for treatment and recycling. As a result of its use of innovative technologies, Banyan produces higher quality plastic pellets with a longer life span than its competitors. This achieves a more environmentally friendly product that improves citizen and worker health.

Investment Landscape Mapping in East Asia: Integrated Coastal Management and Sustainable Development of Coasts and Oceans (2015)

In collaboration with PEMSEA, Shujog’s research identifies regional and country-level trends in ICM funding from bilateral and multilateral donors, foundations, development finance institutions, corporations, impact investments and commercial investors across 10 related coastal and marine sectors, and offers recommendations for increasing investments in these sectors.


The coastal ecosystem across East Asia faces increasing threats that diminish the ecological health, environmental resilience and socioeconomic potential of such areas at the interface of land and sea. Available funds for ecosystem services and biodiversity remain small in comparison to the actual human cost of consuming, restoring, maintaining and managing such global commons. By some estimates, the financing gap exceeds at least US$ 300 billion per year and may reach into the US$ trillions. PEMSEA mobilizes its Country and Non-Country Partners, donors and financial institutions to invest in an emerging blue economy across the seas of East Asia, whose coastal areas attract dense human settlements of over 1.5 billion people. Essential to this marketplace, ICM (which PEMSEA pioneered in the region) helps to address the governance of human activities affecting the sustainable use of goods and services generated by coastal and marine ecosystems. The sustainable growth of a blue economy closely aligns with conservation of ocean ecosystems. New funding options call for investments that balance financial returns with positive social and environmental impact that improves the health of coastal and marine areas.

Small and Medium Enterprises in the Agriculture Value Chains, 2014

IIX analyzes the effectiveness of development programs in addressing the effectiveness of SME agricultural value chains, and dissect whether these interventions would be Impact Enterprises in agriculture in Asia. This report is commissioned by Oxfam, and makes recommendations for donors and development agencies that seek to support impact-driven enterprises in agriculture.


This report is commissioned by Oxfam to analyze the effectiveness of development programs in addressing challenges faced by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the agriculture sector in Asia, and to dissect whether these interventions would be relevant for Social Enterprises (SEs) in the agriculture sector. The purpose of this report is to inform the decision making of development programs that aim to catalyze the growth of SEs in agriculture and attract impact investment capital to fuel the growth of the food and agriculture sector in Asia.

Sri Lanka: Social Enterprise Needs Assessment and Advisory, 2014

This research paper maps Impact Enterprises within the agriculture sector, identifies the key challenges they face, and makes recommendations for donors and development agencies looking to support the space in Sri Lanka. Findings and recommendations are developed based on secondary research and field survey of mission-driven enterprises in Sri Lanka. This report is commissioned by Oxfam and produced in collaboration with IIX.


Recovering from its 26-year conflict, Sri Lanka has recently achieved lower middle-income status. While this is encouraging, inequality is exasperated by its economic development approach and failure to address the underlying socio-political causes of war. New approaches and interventions are needed to provide post-conflict support that is appropriate to the nation’s level of economic growth, while addressing the emerging risks and vulnerabilities. Within this context of strong growth, social entrepreneurship is seen as an important area for Oxfam (and other International NGOs) to achieve long term, sustainable impact. With about a third of the Sri Lankan population engaging in agricultural activities, the agriculture sector carries the promise of enhancing economic development in Sri Lanka through successful social enterprises (SEs). In 2014, Oxfam and Shujog worked with diverse SEs and key stakeholders in the agricultural ecosystem in Sri Lanka to analyze the challenges faced in agricultural value chains and identify appropriate strategies of support by development actors.

Financing Healthcare Services for the Poor, 2014

This report is a part of Shujog Research’s Financial Innovation for Poverty Reduction Series. It studies the challenges and gaps in the funding of healthcare provision in Asia, and evaluates several innovative financing solutions that can help countries achieve the goal of universal access to healthcare.


Shujog estimates a funding gap of $59.38 billion per year to scale healthcare solutions and finance universal access in Asia Pacific. To achieve universal healthcare, public healthcare spending will need to increase. But public healthcare financing is not growing fast enough to overcome the funding gap – and sometimes not growing at all. A combination of different funding mechanisms is needed to overcome the funding gap, decrease the over-reliance on out-of-pocket spending, and meet the projected increase in healthcare expenditure. Healthcare social enterprises (SEs), private healthcare financing, and public-private partnerships can fund healthcare delivery and provide financial protection for the underserved more rapidly. Innovative financing will speed up the scaling of healthcare financing that is needed to achieve universal access to healthcare across more countries in Asia. With overstretched public funding and a lack of public healthcare infrastructure, private investment and bilateral and multilateral financing can assist in scaling healthcare solutions to reach those who currently lack financial risk protection, access to healthcare, and improved health outcomes.

Sector Brief: Vocational Training, 2013

 Shujog provides a brief insight on the value chain of the Social Enterprise (SE) vocational training sector in both South and Southeast Asia, highlighting the sector’s social impact, innovation, sustainability, and market trends. This report is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.


Asia and the Pacific has witnessed a high pace of growth over the last decades, with an average annual growth rate at 5.7% – more than 2 points higher than the world average. By contrast, growth of employment has been a mere 1.8% per year – an indication of the challenges related to structural and transitional unemployment in high-growth economies in the region. Asia-Pacific is confronted with a combined challenge of increasing youth unemployment and a lack of skilled workers. Global youth unemployment has increased by 14.8% from 1995 to 2005, with Asia and the Pacific region experiencing an 85.5% increase in youth unemployment in the same period. Unemployment affects women and youth disproportionately. Based on the statistics of UNESCAP, average unemployment rate for women from 1990 to 2010 was 7.1% while the figure for men was 5%. For youth aged between 15 and 24, the gender disparity is even larger.

Sector Brief: Healthcare, 2013

Shujog’s research provides an overview on the operational models, innovations, social impact, and market size and trends of the health sector in both South and Southeast Asia. This report is supported by The Rockefeller Foundation.


The lack of accessible, affordable and adequate healthcare services has led to poor health outcomes in many Asian markets. Social Enterprises (SEs) are tackling these problems by matching health service demand with new and innovative ways of organizing delivery and financing care. A health system consists of three basic functions that collectively form a healthcare value chain: organizing delivery, financing access, and changing behaviors. Public and private health services overlap and complement each other in all the functional areas of a health system.

Sector Brief: Household Energy Services, 2013

Shujog summarizes the market size, growth, trends, challenges, and social impact of Impact Enterprises in the household energy services sector in Southeast Asia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. This report is supported by Rockefeller Foundation.


Access to energy is a basic need for lighting and cooking, a need that is unmet for one quarter of the world’s population. More than 600 million people in Asia alone live outside the reach of public electricity utilities, relying on unhealthy, expensive, and environmentally expensive and unsafe energy sources such as kerosene lamps for their lighting needs. In parallel, more than 2 billion people in Asia rely on burning wood, coal or other biomass for their cooking needs, and spend more than 20 per cent of their income on procuring the fuel for cooking. The market for providing households access to modern, improved and affordable energy services to replace reliance on biomass and fossil fuels represents a considerable business opportunity and a tremendous opportunity for positive social impact on a vast number of people in Asia.