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 has been always a big question to make a balance between Social and Enterprise. The Division of Social Sciences of CIE invited Mr. Cheung Chun-ming, Brandon, Co-Founder of Sharing Kitchen HK (共厨家作) and Ms. Anna Lee, former Director of NGO working for people with disabilities to share their experiences of running social enterprises in Hong Kong.
Mr. Cheung Chun-ming, Brandon is a graduate of Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons) in Social Policy and Associate Degree Programme (Applied Social Service). 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 liaises 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 helps both housewives of low-income families to make a living and the society to fully utilize idle resources.
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? Ms. Anna Lee provided a balanced view about running social enterprises by sharing difficulties and the brutality of the commercial world. Those are real challenges that social enterprises facing.
The talk has provided students a window about sharing economy, social innovation, and what impacts social enterprises can bring to our society. It also develops students’ understanding and ability to participate in evaluation of social policies.