Group urges enterprising secondary students to get down to business

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 May, 2008, 12:00am

A student organisation at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is calling for secondary school students to take part in a conference on social enterprises.

The event is part of a three-month campaign run by the local committee of Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (AIESEC) at the university.

The 10-member group has been visiting secondary schools to deliver talks to increase students' understanding of social enterprises as part of its Social Entrepreneur Project.

The HKUST undergraduates will extend the project by providing senior secondary school students with business and leadership skills this summer at the Lead the Change: Social Entrepreneurs Development Conference.

The conference will gather 70 Form Four to Form Seven students for a three-day camp in mid-July at the HKUST campus and the High Island Camp in Sai Kung.

The organisers said that instead of sitting in a conference room with academics, the camp would feature activities teaching the students how to run businesses while showing social responsibility to help needy people.

'Running a social enterprise is no easier than operating a profit-making corporation,' organising committee member Ivy Luk Shin-ping said.

'It requires entrepreneurs to think of innovative ways to make a social impact and at the same time earn a profit margin to be self-sustaining.

'Therefore, the skills students will learn are very helpful, not only to running social enterprises but doing business in general.'

There will be leadership training sessions, a social enterprise ideas competition, sharing with Hong Kong social entrepreneurs, games and a party to broaden participants' networks.

Students will be asked to pool their ideas on creating a social enterprise, from forming business plans and marketing to pricing and promotion strategies.

Their ideas will be forwarded to the government.

The organisers are inviting secondary school students to take part.

'Young people have the potential to start social enterprises,' Ms Luk said. 'They can make a difference to our community in the future.'

The students said their action echoed the initiative spelled out by Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen in his policy address last year to push for social enterprises in Hong Kong.

AIESEC is an international association of 25,000 students at 1,100 universities in 105 countries.

For details, visit: The application deadline is May 31.