Hong Kong Christian Service

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Issue 004
Nov 2014

Social enterprises proposals by EMs
Helping the community with their innovation

It has always been difficult for Ethnic Minority (EM) students to integrate into the society due to language barrier, lack of social experience and support, their chances for development is being limited and have been difficult to move up the social ladder, however, this summer, Hysan Development Company Limited, HK University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and we organised the first 3 party collaboration namely: business, post-secondary institute and social service - Hope Campaign, in order that EM would have the opportunity to learn from both the business and student elites ; to think about the present situation of HK through writing up of their social enterprise proposals, to tackle with social problems by means of social enterprise.

The campaign attracted hundreds of EM secondary students. 6 teams were shortlisted in the middle of the competition to enter into a 6-week tailor made intensive training, and prominent business figures taught them the related knowledge, there were also sharing from young entrepreneurs. Students of social enterprise course of Business College of the HKUST acted as senior schoolmates for these EM students, they helped to touch up their business plan, during this process friendship was built up.

Several feasible plans were drafted by the EM students to deal with problems such as reallocation of second hand textbook to needy families and lighten the burden of deprived families, setting up traditional India medical and beauty parlor to offer job opportunities and providing catering service suited to their culture/religion to EM students. These 3 projects won the top 3 prizes.

Before this campaign, we already have long standing collaboration with Hysan and HKUST in summer projects. Aiming at widening students’ horizons and social network, hoping to help them to find their interest, we managed to have a breakthrough this year by means of this competition, and enabling students to become another changing force.

Angel, one of the senior schoolmates of the HKUST students said, "This is a meaningful opportunity to link talented secondary students with university students together to nurture change through this competition."

One of the F4 participants Xyra Sace said "I have an eye-opening experience and I get to know that everyone can initiate change and influence the society."

Just like what Karrie, the Chief Service Supervisor of our EM Service said, "this competition offers a platform to enable exchange between EM and other sector of the society, they learn a lot outside their school and find their path, and go for it."

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