Hard-earned cash

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 August, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 August, 2003, 12:00am

IF YOU ARE thinking of setting up a business, HKCEE graduate Gladys Chan Mong-mei's experience may help.

Gladys is taking part in We Web Wet - Own Your Business, selling household ornaments as part of a youth centre programme this summer. She soon learned what it means to 'work hard for the money'. Her takings after three days: $190.

'I used to think that it's easy to make money. Many parents won't spend anything even if their children beg them to,' said Gladys, 18, a Form Five student at Buddhist Yip Kei Nam Memorial College. 'Now we just want to break even.'

The programme is run by the Tsing Yi Children and Youth Integrated Services Centre. With Gladys are about 60 children from Forms Three and Five, who all set up booths at the centre.

Gladys' five-student team - who each put in $50 to buy stock - sells sand-bottles, clay products, pottery and the like.

From product planning, supply sourcing to booth decoration and the real business of selling, it was harder than Gladys thought.

'More than 10 people joined at the beginning, but so many dropped out. It's so frustrating. Setting up a business needs serious thinking,' said Gladys. Nearby was a second-hand book stall set up by 17-year-old Ivy Lam Wai-ying and nine friends, all Form Five students from TWGHs SC Gaw Memorial College. 'People tried avoiding us when we distributed leaflets,' said Ivy, who contributed handmade bookmarks to the booth's inventory of 2,000 assorted books.

Except for about $400 earned on the first day, their daily proceeds were less than $50.

But the experience has not dampened Ivy's goal of one day opening her own store selling her drawings and handicrafts.

'What we value is the experience rather than the income. The selling and promotional skills I've learnt here may prove useful when I open my store later,' said Ivy.