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Capacity Building -- Crevisse Building the next generation

of socially innovative and financially sustainable


enterprises

Similar to other countries in Asia, building good organisations and people is a continuous effort.
Crevisse fills this gap by investing in and then partnering with social enterprises. Remarkable about
this model is the tangible implementation of Crevisses mindset of high-touch partnership and
transferring capabilities to the enterprise with the aim to make socially innovative companies
profitable in the mainstream market.
In existence since 2002, Crevisse invested in eleven ventures:
1.
2.
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4.
5.
6.
7.
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11.

Eduplex Education (investment, 2003)


DONUS (investment & incubation, 2007)
Inspire.D (investment & incubation, 2010)
Tree Planet (investment & incubation, 2010)
D3Jubilee (investment, 2011)
Musical Moby Dick (investment & incubation, 2012)
Bring your cup (investment & incubation, 2013)
Frientrip (investment & incubation, 2013)
Eone Timepieces (investment, 2014)
ZipBob (investment & incubation, 2014)
Enlighten (investment & Incubation, 2014)

Crevisse also initiated an Impact Talent Program i , which is aimed to affect societal change by
addressing personal change. Started in 2012, it was an initiative to find young and talented artists who
want to make changes in the society, but do not know how to do something. Impact Talent Program
is still in development. Crevisse has partners to generate impact in Korea such as RootImpact, MYSC,
D3Jubilee, Social Enterprise Network (SEN) and in Asia, for instance ChangeFusion and Social Venture
Competition Asia to expand the Crevisse town to other regions or countries.

Joining the town economy

The selection process for investment is biannual and 2-3 organisations are selected annually. While
organisations can apply, Crevisse is aware that organisations chose Crevisse as much as Crevisse
choses them. It outlines its parameters transparently on their website. Crevisse invests in socially
innovative enterprises with a strong business model, who are able to generate revenue. Yet, is there
is no social mission, Crevisse will not investii. Once Crevisse decides to invest, Crevisse invites the
organisation to work in their premises where organisations can move into to do their business.

Partnering like co-founders: making the mindset tangible


Incubation is a bit misleading according to the Crevisse president and CEO Wonyoung Kimiii. Crevisse
investees are all for-profit enterprises with Crevisse holding equity, convertible notes or bonds but no
debts or grants. The primary reason for this lies in Crevisses mindset, which is built on partnership
with the individual organisation. Crevisses credo Entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs makes this
relationship equal in the sense of respect but different in terms of experience and the expertise.
Crevisses approach mirrors its incentive to have ownership and to relate with enterprises like cofounders.
This attitude of partnership manifests itself throughout Crevisses capacity building.

Walking together but also alone


As a first step, Crevisse and the new organisation will develop a vision, mission, principles and goals
together. Then Crevisse helps to develop the business model together. Once the business model is
feasible and the enterprise can penetrate into the market. Then they work together to make extra
revenue. The aim is for the enterprise to have a sturdy business model and to generate revenue.
Overall, the Crevisse team spends around 300 hours annually per organisation.
The top three areas for capacity building are strategy, finance and business operations such as human
resources management and accounting. In terms of strategy, the CEO of the founding team and the
partner get together on a weekly meeting. Similarly, the financial meeting is once a week and this
examines revenue growth, financial status and finances required to move forward as well as provides
space to develop a pitch deck for instance. Finally, business operations is a daily service that helps
complement the team with human resources management and accounting management which
require expertise.
In the weekly meetings, we try not to tell them the conclusion or the process, but provide room for
entrepreneurs to develop their own style, give them values, such as value of excellence and love. We
also try to lead by example.iv In this transparent and high-touch environment, Crevisse hears much
about what goes wrong. When this happens, we get together and solve the issue, as Wonyoung Kim
says, We regard everything as our business, so every problem is our problem. Beyond the meetings,
Crevisse invites speakers or lecturers who give new perspective to entrepreneurs in areas such as UX
design, entrepreneurship values, new ideas and global market knowledge.

Creating a self-perpetuating culture of partnership

Crevisse Town Leaders


While mentorship and support is important, it is crucial for entrepreneurs to be able to succeed alone,
get the resources they need outside of Crevisse and become the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Realising this, Crevisse, fosters peer support, collaboration skills and a culture of partnership in two
ways. Once a month, there is a townhall meeting, where all entrepreneurs come out and share what
they did and what they need. So enterprises recommend resources and share solutions on issues.
Another way is the collaboration between enterprises which may work on the same projects or clients
or do profit-sharing businesses. For instance one enterprise may have crowdfunding expertise, while
another has a solution to an issue. So they get together to market this solution. While it is not easy to
market a collaboration, this is a crucial skill for entrepreneurs. The town economy thus fosters
collaboration skills, increases and provides sustainable revenue and a long-term strategy. What were
trying to do is have the entrepreneurs figure this out by themselves, to transfer these capabilities back
to entrepreneurs so that they can pass it on to others v This is a crucial part of the partnership
arrangement of Crevisse and a way to create the next generation of entrepreneurs with a particular
culture.

Building the next generation


Ultimately, Crevisse aims to grow the ecosystem of socially innovative organisations focusing in Asia
and to integrate social innovations into the mainstream capital market. This is adding significantly to
the three layers of enterprises in Korea, which are either established enterprises, startups or socially
innovative enterprises. With these skills, Crevisse with entrepreneurs will discover the true potential
together and push their ventures to be the best for the world. They shape the next generation of
enterprises which believe in the world of making a better tomorrow.

All figures, dates and names are taken from the website: http://www.crevisse.com/about/ and have been
checked and augmented by Crevisse
ii
Interview on 7 April 2014 with Wonyoung Kim.
iii
Interview on 7 April 2014 with Wonyoung Kim.
iv
Interview on 7 April 2014 with Wonyoung Kim
v
Interview on 7 April 2014 with Wonyoung Kim.

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