Age: 20 School: Community College of City University Young Post: Have you ever set up a business? Wong: Yes, last month, for our final-year project. Three classmates and I ran a French cafe - Le Petit Paris - on campus for two weeks. All profits went to Enfants du Mekong, a French charity which helps poor children in Southeast Asia. YP: What did you do and what obstacles did you come across? W: As we are Associate of Arts in Bilingual Communication Studies in French and English students, we decided to do something French for our project. Our group came up with a detailed business plan to persuade the university to let us set up a booth. We explained our aims and that all profits would go to charity. The university agreed and gave us HK$1,000 to help with our project. Our next step was finding sponsors. That was the biggest obstacle. We managed to get Expresso to sponsor two coffee machines and we bought coffee beans at really low prices. Evian sponsored 450 bottles of water, and two croissant companies offered us a 10 per cent discount. Project members contributed a total of HK$8,000. YP: What did you spend it on? W: We had three things on the menu: croissants, French pancakes and coffee. Most of our money was spent on getting the food. Some was spent on decoration. We covered the tables with red, white and blue tablecloths, the colours of the French flag. We also made leaflets and posters. YP: How did you attract customers to your cafe? W: Since our cafe was right next to the school entrance, we figured passers-by would be curious. We offered a HK$2 discount on drinks if customers bought a croissant or pancakes. We provided on-campus delivery with a purchase of HK$20 or more. We also taught customers one French word a day and they got a five per cent discount if they could say it correctly. YP: What did you learn from this project? W: Research is very important. Before setting prices, we visited other cafes for reference. I also learned that you have to be very precise when doing a budget. Also, the amount of food we supplied each day was different, depending on the market. We had to be sensitive and learn to adjust. We made HK$9,438 in profit which we gave to the charity.