Edited by Dr KK Tse

HKSEF will be celebrating its fourth anniversary this year. Four years could be a short time or a long time, depending on how one looks at it. Given the HKSEF mission of ‘Creating and sustaining a civic movement of social entrepreneurship’, the past four years have witnessed some remarkable progress in this area, most notably the following:

  • Effecting a shift of focus from social enterprise to social entrepreneurship: nurture more social entrepreneurs and social enterprises will follow, not the other way round;
  • More and more individuals and organizations are having a better appreciation of the power and potential of social entrepreneurship in bringing about positive social change, including, but not confining to, creating employment for the underprivileged groups;
  • There is a slow but steady increase in the number of high-impact, self-sustaining social enterprises set up by individual citizens not relying on government funding support; indeed, the future of social enterprise development lies in these privately funded ventures rather than the government funded ones;
  • There has been a number of newly founded ‘platform organizations’ providing innovative services to practicing and would-be social entrepreneurs, notably SVHK, SEBC, GCSE, and ourselves. The latest addition is the Good Lab, which aspires to become the ‘Hub’ of social innovation in HK.

The list is long and readers of this Newsletter have been an eye-witness to this encouraging development.

KK has a Big Plan

In what follows, I would like to share with you my latest initiative and to appeal your contribution in terms of advice and support.

Having served as HKSEF Chair for the past few years, I too have learnt a lot and greatly benefited from working with a fantastic group of individuals and organisations. Frankly, I did not know what and how I could contribute to the movement when we first started. Fortunately we have stumbled on a number of opportunities and have managed to turn some of them into showcase success. With some valuable experience and lessons to build on, I have been contemplating what I should do in the coming years.

Earlier this year while on holiday in New Zealand, it suddenly dawned on me that I am 63-year young and that my next five years could be my prime years. I somehow felt that the knowledge and experience I have accumulated in the past is simply a preparation for what I will be doing in the coming years. It was a powerfully liberating thought: the best of me is yet to come and the next few years could be the height of my ‘career’.

Enter Education for Good (EFG)

This was how Education for Good CIC Ltd was born. In Chinese, it is 仁人學社.

Our Purpose:

To spearhead innovation, scalable educational and training programs contributing to the development of social entrepreneurship and social innovation.

Our Mission:

  • To Inspire Everyone to Become a Changemaker
  • To Enable Every Business to Become a Social Business

Our Core Values: I.D.E.A.L.

  • Inspire innovative social initiatives
  • Deliver ‘wow’ benefits to stakeholders
  • Be as Environmentally friendly as possible
  • Act entrepreneurial
  • Leverage collaboration

Our Target Audience

  • Universities – both faculty members and students
  • General Public – both introductory talks and advanced workshops
  • Mainstream Business – workshops, consultancy, collaborations
  • Greater China Region – online courses and study missions
  • South East Asia – online courses and study missions

Why We Call Ourselves a Community Interest Company (CIC)

We intend to run the company as a social enterprise. Community Interest Company (CIC) is a legal form for social enterprise in the UK. Although this legal form is not available in Hong Kong, we are inspired by the spirit of the CIC and have committed ourselves to adhering to one of its governing principles, namely, no more than one third of the net profits will be distributed to the shareholders as dividends.

Education for Good Foundation

We intend to set up a charitable organisation, EFG Foundation, to which wewill contribute one third of our annual profits. It could also attract donations from individuals or organisations who identified with our mission. The Foundation will provide financial support to (1) individuals or organisations who might not be able to afford the fees we charge for our services; and (2) graduates of our educational programs who want to start innovative social ventures.

Think Big and Start Small

We have great aspirations to become the regional hub of educational innovation for social entrepreneurship in this part of the world. However, we are starting up as a lean organisation with one full time staff and a core team whose members have been so committed that they become our shareholders. We expect to be able to turn in a modest profit in the first year of operation. In six months’ time, we will review our capital requirements to decide whether or not we need additional funding.

How You could Contribute

Be a Donor – You could make a donation to either EFG or EFG Foundation.

Be an Investor – You could invest in EFG, probably in six months’ time.

Be an EFG Advocate – Register with us as an Advocate. You will enjoy discount to take part in our programs, provide us with honest feedback, help us refine our offerings, and spread the word among your circle.

Be a part-time Lecturer – We need a large number of part-time Lecturers to conduct various courses. You could either propose your own topics, or attend our Train-the-trainer program to equip yourself to conduct our programs.

Be an Intrapreneur-Volunteer – We need a specific kind of volunteer, someone with an intrapreneur mindset, that is, you passionately identify with our mission and core values and are ready to take initiative to design and implement income-generating programs that contribute to realizing our mission.

There are many other ways you could contribute to our effort and become part of this important movement. Write to me at kakuitse@gmail.com anytime.