Over the years, social entrepreneurship has been on the rise in Hong Kong, with the number of social enterprises up 6.3% year on year to 610 as at the end of 2016, according to data compiled in the Hong Kong Council of Social Service’s latest Social Enterprise Directory. The growth and growing diversity and maturity of the social enterprise ecosystem, which is also benefitting from the support of and transfer of knowledge and technology from the private sector, will help enhance the commercial viability of social enterprises while maximising their social impact.
In 2017, two innovative social enterprises from Hong Kong, Eco-Greenergy and Fantastic Dream, were selected to be among 14 social enterprises from across Asia to receive funding support from DBS Foundation, the first foundation in Singapore dedicated to championing social entrepreneurship. As part of its 2017 Social Enterprise Grant Programme, DBS Foundation awards grants ranging between SG$40,000 and SG$160,000 (around HKD290,000 to HKD930,000) to social enterprises in areas such as employment generation for the marginalised, environment protection and waste management solutions, and food sustainability.
Eco-Greenergy embraces simple, practical and sustainable food waste recycling products and solutions, from food waste machines to education programmes. Eco-Greenergy launched the Zero Grounds Coffee Campaign, in which coffee grounds are recycled to promote food waste recycling in the community. Eco-Greenergy partners with coffee shops as well as corporations, and upcycles the coffee grounds into Coffee NEXT products, like soap, fertiliser and flower pots. Some 5% of the campaign’s profit is donated to food waste-related research in Hong Kong. Eco-Greenergy plans to use the funding from the DBS Foundation to set up a production line in Hong Kong and develop new products, such as biodegradable tableware made from coffee grounds.
Fantastic Dream connects with popular Youtubers and KOLs in Hong Kong with organisations to tailor make recruitment programmes with positive influence and inspire youth. The social enterprise provides jobs interest to teenagers and Fantastic Dream cooperates to provide intern job posts. In addition, their career education content and youth internship programmes via Youtube have been encouraging on viewership. The grant will be used to develop new content and youth engagement initiatives.
Glendy Chu, Head of Group Strategic Marketing & Communications at DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, said, “As an active participant in the social enterprise ecosystem in Hong Kong, we are committed to supporting entrepreneurial change makers and innovative solutions to help address community challenges and societal issues. We are proud to see the success of these two Hong Kong social enterprises in the 2017 Social Enterprise Grant Programme, and the rising regional profile of Hong Kong’s social entrepreneurship. We look forward to working closely with budding entrepreneurs with great ideas as a force for good.”
Social Enterprise Grant Programme launched by DBS Foundation will enable social enterprises to bring their prototypes to market, improve existing processes or scale up their existing business for greater social impact. This year, the 14 Change Makers excel in identification of the social need addressed, business innovation and business model sustainability. They also demonstrate a path to achieving key business and social impact milestones.
Find out more about the 14 Change Makers here.
Photo 1: Eco-Greenergy embraces simple, practical and sustainable food waste recycling products and solutions.
Photo 2: Eco-Greenergy launched the Zero Grounds Coffee Campaign, in which coffee grounds are recycled to promote food waste recycling in the community. The social enterprise also upcycles the coffee grounds into Coffee NEXT products, like soap, fertiliser and flower pots.
Photo 3: Fantastic Dream connects with popular Youtubers and KOLs in Hong Kong with organisations to tailor make recruitment programmes with positive influence and inspire youth.
Photo 4: Fantastic Dream offline activities are well received by the youth.
DBS - Living, Breathing Asia
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia, with over 280 branches across 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS has a growing presence in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings, is among the highest in the world.
DBS is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, and has been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney. The bank has also been recognised for its leadership in the region, having been named “Asia’s Best Bank” by several publications including The Banker, Global Finance, IFR Asia and Euromoney since 2012. In addition, the bank has been named “Safest Bank in Asia” by Global Finance for nine consecutive years from 2009 to 2017.
DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets. DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, and positively impacting communities through supporting social enterprises, as it banks the Asian way. It has also established a SGD 50 million foundation to strengthen its corporate social responsibility efforts in Singapore and across Asia.
With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. The bank acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in all of our 23,000 staff, representing over 40 nationalities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.
About DBS Foundation
As a corporate foundation in Asia solely dedicated to championing social entrepreneurship, DBS Foundation contributes towards building a more inclusive society so that those at society’s margins can enjoy productive and rewarding lives. DBS Foundation works with Social Enterprises and Social Entrepreneurs in Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India and Indonesia with programmes ranging from venture challenges, learning forums, intensive incubation, project grant support, financing and skilled volunteer mentoring. The Foundation is an endeavor from DBS Bank to make an even greater impact in addressing Asia’s evolving social needs.
Visit us at: www.dbs.com/dbsfoundation
Reach us on: firstname.lastname@example.org.