Back to Basics: What are Social Enterprises and Social Entrepreneurs for?

Although ‘social enterprise’ and ‘social entrepreneur’ have now become part of the daily language, there are no commonly acceptable definitions of these terms, in Hong Kong and abroad. And when these terms are translated into Chinese, the confusion is even bigger. There is absolutely no doubt that there are social enterprises and social entrepreneurs in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China, but these terms have vastly different meanings in the respective regions. Instead of debating definitions, one way to gain understanding into this phenomenon is to look at their common denominator, which is tackling social issues in new and innovative ways. What are the social issues we concern about?

Lighting up Lives, from Hong Kong

With a plan to centralise several of the company’s key functions in Hong Kong, D.light Design – one of the world’s most successful social enterprises – has chosen the city to be a base for its mission to serve people around the world living without steady electricity supply. KK talked about the significance of D.light's presence in Hong Kong.

公民行動創造重生: Rebirth: Association for Children’s Health

(The article is in Chinese only) In Brazil, many sick children in poverty could not receive any follow-up healthcare service after discharging from public hospitals. Poor living environment and hygiene caused high relapse rate and infections. In 1991, Brazilian surgeon Vera Cordeiro started "Rebirth: Association for Children's Health" aiming to render community support to low-income families in taking care of sick children to reduce relapse and prevent diseases...


(The article is in Chinese only) You may find it hilarious - what is "World Toilet Organization" all about? Over the world, in both developed and developing regions, nearly 40% of the population do not have access to the most basic sanitary facilities, leading to many infectious diseases and even death. And there comes Jack Sim, a Singaporean social entrepreneur, who founded this WTO to change this world - starting from the toilets.


(The article is in Chinese only) 農家女學校的全名是北京農家女實用技能培訓學校,是2001年成立的北京農家女文化發展中心的前身之一。最早是1993年創刊的《農家女》雜誌,1996年創辦「打工妹之家」,1998年創辦農家女學校。兩位創辦人謝麗華及吳青可說是內地社會創業的佼佼者...

在中國開展社會企業—美香乳酪廠 (Mei Xiang Yak Cheese) 及犛牛絨編織公司 (Shokay)

(The article is in Chinese only) Marie So and Carol Chyau are leading social entrepreneurs in Greater China region. They co-founded Ventures in Development, who subsequently set up two social enterprises Mei Xiang Yak Cheese and Shokay, that have empowered thousands of shepherds in western China to generate better income and improve livelihood.