There are more than 650 social enterprises in Hong Kong. While social enterprises strive to achieve their social mission by operating a business, some find the economic reality very brutal. It is always a big question to make a balance between Social and Enterprise. The Division of Social Sciences of CIE invited two speakers to share their experiences of running social enterprises in Hong Kong.
Mr. Brandon Chun-ming Cheung, also the Co-Founder of Sharing Kitchen HK (共廚家作), graduated from the CIE Applied Social Service associate degree programme, and the HKBU Social Policy undergraduate programme. Sharing Kitchen HK is one of the awardees of 2017 Outstanding Social Enterprise Awards (Home Affairs Bureau). Integrating the concept of sharing economy with his social mission, Mr. Cheung liaised with restaurants to share their kitchen in the afternoon, which is usually left unoccupied before the start of dinner time. Mr. Cheung shared his initial thought of starting Sharing Kitchen HK—how can a housewife sell her home-made cake without paying $300,000 to run a bakery? This became his motto to run a social enterprise that help both housewives of low-income families to make a living and the society to fully utilize idle resources.
Ms. Anna Lee, a former director of an NGO, provided a balanced view about running social enterprises by sharing difficulties and the brutality of the commercial world. What should the social enterprise management do if the staff is not meeting the assumed expectations? How to balance social and enterprise in the real commercial world?
The talk has provided CIE students a window about sharing economy, social innovation, and what impacts social enterprises can bring to our society.