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New Alliance Formed to Develop Successful Partnerships Between Foreign Investors and Community-based Organizations in China.

Submitted by: Visible Hand

Categories: Community Development

Posted: Jan 21, 2002 – 11:00 PM EST

 

Jan. 21 /CSRwire/ - Visible Hand, Inc. (VH) has formed a partnership with Beijing-based Clear Thinking (CT) to help corporate clients do business in China, while providing new funding/investment channels and capacity-building services to local community-based organizations (CBOs). Visible Hand currently assists corporations identify and select social investment opportunities in the Middle East and Africa.

Following Visible Hand's current model, VH/CT corporate clients invest funds and expertise in organizations evaluated according to their potential to benefit not only the funding recipient, but also the bottom line. Part of the solution lies in a process that protects both parties: shielding the local initiative from undo external influence, and the investor from risk associated with mismanagement, malfeasance, and resentment. Local partnership candidates are identified in part through Visible Hand and Clear Thinking networks, which feed information from urban and rural areas via information-gathering hubs, or 'reputation centers'. Reputation centers are organizations with deep experience in particular project domains and geography.

"Corporations have always aimed to be good citizens in their local communities," says Nick Driver, Clear Thinking's managing director. "Visible Hand's expertise and technology will help Western companies reach out and make a difference, but with a bonus…increased revenues down the line."

Clear Thinking will use Visible Hand's database technology, heavily-subsidized web-based legal and accounting services, and emerging application standard to enhance its own China-specific partnering methodology, linking thousands of community-based organizations with Western corporations seeking to do business with China. The result: higher local profile and increased market share for corporate clients, and increased capacity for those seeking to make a difference on the ground.

"Clear Thinking's 10-year track record in assisting corporations navigate the complexities of the Chinese business environment is critical to our success in translating existing services to the Chinese market," says Ethan Chorin, VH President. "We look forward to a long and productive relationship."

The Yale-China Association is among VH/CT's first local reputation partners. Founded in 1901, The Yale-China Association, in collaboration with the Yale School of Nursing, is working to build legal clinics and prevent the transmission of blood-borne pathogens in China. Another partner, China Food & Agriculture, facilitates economic development for China's 300 million farmers.

An early version of Visible Hand was articulated in 1999 by graduate students at the University of California at Berkeley. Since then, it has evolved into a common-sense framework for partnerships between corporations and smaller, community-based initiatives (CBOs), organizations off the radar of corporate strategy teams, foundations, and marketing departments. CBOs often lack access to the tools required actively to publicize their own work, while the lack of a direct profit motive-and the requisite expertise-has prevented corporations from investing effectively in development. The VH formula involves offering hands-on, no-cost capacity building services to CBOs, and vetting and strategy services for larger corporations seeking to build goodwill capital and economic infrastructure in areas where they do-or will do-business.

With the accession of China to the WTO, more and more corporations are doing business in or with China. The desire to grow market share has led to demand for closer relationships with Chinese local governments. Clear Thinking has been building these relationships since the early 1990s, as well as innovative solutions for multinational, regional and Chinese companies seeking longer-term returns. Companies on the profit-making side are concerned with China's ongoing policy shifts, changing technology, deregulation, banking reform, state enterprise restructuring and shifts in consumer demands, all of which present increasing challenges to investors. CT's ability to track, interpret and analyze these changes has been key to its clients' successes.

"The Visible Hand-Clear Thinking alliance is a wonderful example of two young, vital organizations joining forces to magnify their impact, creating a win/win result," says Thomas L. Doorley, III, CEO, Sage Partners, LLC. "With Visible Hand and Clear Thinking, corporations seeking to enter China for commercial reasons increase their odds of success on two fronts. First, by drawing upon Clear Thinking's experience base. Second, by leveraging Visible Hand's ability to engage the community, thus building positive stake in the local economy. As an advisor to companies with interest in the region, I will counsel my clients to participate."

Further information on Visible Hand and Clear Thinking can be found at www.vh-digital.net. For information on the work of Yale-China Association, visit www.yalechina.org. For investment inquiries, please contact Ethan Chorin at ethan@vh-digital.net

For more information, please contact:

Ethan Chorin Visible Hand
Phone: (646) 220-0946

 

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