Young entrepreneurs get chance to test business skills

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 July, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 July, 2002, 12:00am

Sixty Form Three students got an early taste of running their own businesses yesterday under a youth programme organised by a Tsing Yi community centre.

The Tsing Yi Children and Youth Integrated Services Centre is helping the teenagers set up stalls inside its premises, from where they will operate over the summer holidays.

Tony Chai Chung-ming, a social worker at the centre, said students are not charged rental on the six counters that have been set up. 'We will help them overcome difficulties and do follow-ups when the programme ends on August 16,' he said.

The 60 students will be testing their entrepreneurial skills to the full while waiting for the allocation of Form Four places, which are to be released next month.

Mr Chai hopes the programme will help teenagers who fail to get a Form Four place or who are unlikely to continue their studies.

Cathy Cheung Ka-man, a 15-year-old student of S. C. Gaw Memorial College, is among 15 stall operators. Her partners are her school friends.

'We have spent $3,700 on this counter. The centre's social worker helped us to find a temporary job earlier this month to raise the money.

'We sell mainly T-shirts. Our customers can select T-shirts of different colours and decide what pictures to be stuck on it. We also sell stationery,' she said.

'The setting of prices, decoration of the counter, buying goods, and lots more, all these are done ourselves. This is the first time we experienced starting up a business.

Cathy added: 'I don't expect to earn much from the business. This invaluable experience is already a return on our investment.'

She said she hoped to continue running the counter or a similar business if she is not offered a place in Form Four.

Another budding businessman, Jason Shum Chun-ping, and his 10 partners, all from Lai King Catholic Secondary School, are more ambitious. They have invested $2,000 and expect to bring in $4,000.

'We sell pencils and provide a free engraving service. This should be profitable since wood stationery is fashionable,' he said.

'Besides profit, I hope to get more working experience.'

The centre will conduct a review at the end of summer to decide if it should repeat the programme in future.