DBS SOCIAL ENTERPRISE ADVANCEMENT GRANT
LAUNCH CEREMONY 2014 CUM ACHIEVEMENT SHOWCASE
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DBS Bank Allocated Another HK$2M to DBS Social Enterprise Advancement Grant, to Support Social Innovation and Enhance Competitiveness
HONG KONG, 20 February 2014 – With an aim to boost competitiveness of local social enterprises (SEs), DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited allocated a grant of HK$ 2 million to DBS Social Enterprise Advancement Grant (the Grant) for the second year. The Grant will provide funding support to SEs in business expansion as well as product and service advancement, capacity building to branding and marketing. The Hong Kong Council of Social Service is the Project Manager of the Grant.
We collected opinions from the sector and received 37 responses from local social enterprises. In the past 12 months, an equal share of them either recorded a gain, a loss or break-even in their balance sheet (Figure a). Over 90% expressed interests to innovate for higher competitiveness and over half of the respondents are already embarking on some product/service innovation projects (Figure b). The biggest challenge for innovation is the lack of funding support, which made up of almost 30% of the total response, followed by talent shortage and inadequate technical support, network and partnership (Figure c). In order to enhance the commercial viability and social impact of local social enterprises, the Grant attuned to the sector needs to encourage innovation as well as their product and service development for higher competitiveness.
Today’s launch was officiated by Ms. Florence HUI Hiu-fai, Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr. Sebastian PAREDES, Chief Executive Officer of DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited and Mr. CHUA Hoi-wai, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Council of Social Service.
Mr CHUA said social enterprises cope with the social changes and create social solutions to response to the society needs. He is glad to see 12 granted projects made remarkable achievements, which created 156 employment opportunities , and achieved a total of 3,000 vocational training hours. Nearly 80% subsidized social enterprises recorded a double-digit growth in sales turnover. He expressed appreciation to DBS for supporting the development of social enterprise in Hong Kong.
“DBS Social Enterprise Advancement Grant serves as a catalyst of change and innovation to local social enterprises, to help them strengthen and sustain their franchise so that they can continue to do social good,” Sebastian Paredes, CEO of DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, said. “We are glad to see last year’s grantees all made efforts to innovate and achieved encouraging results on the commercial and social fronts. This year, we allocated another HKD 2 million to the Grant and are looking forward to receiving ground-breaking proposals that can truly take the businesses of local social enterprises to the next level.”
The 12 grantees of the Grant 2013 showcased their project achievements, included wedding cookies series made by the disabled, up-cycling furniture, food waste Eco-Cube and translation services by ethnic minorities in Hong Kong. More than 100 representatives of NGOs, practitioners of SEs and social entrepreneurs attended the event. Mr. LAM Wai-chun, Founder of 759 Store delivered a keynote speech to the sector, to share on his experiences on business transformation and advancement. The event was closed by a briefing session which introduced the Grant’s objectives, eligibility, scope of grant, judging criteria, etc.
The Grant is currently open for application until 14 March 2014, inviting SEs from both public and private sectors. For application details, please browse the website of the DBS Social Enterprise Advancement Grant at https://dbsse.hkcss.org.hk/
View Project Achievement Video (Part 1) Business Opportunity of Social Enterprise (Chinese Only)
View the Project Achievement Video (Part 2) Social Innovation and Social Mission (Chinese Only)
1 Including both full-time and part-time employees
About DBS Social Enterprise Advancement Grant
Facing the aging population and changing of family structure, fighting poverty, elderly care and supporting to ethnic minorities etc are still major topics addressed in policy address. More than 400 social enterprises across sectors are serving to different social objectives including up-cycling, food waste management, skill set enhancement on ethnic minority in Hong Kong and job creation for disabilities and rehabilitators, providing supports to social welfare and public services by adopting commercial approaches to respond to social issues. The Secretariat received 61 application proposals last year, representing a over-subscription of five times. Twelve social enterprises were granted to implement their advancement solutions, including up-cycling, food waste management, skill set enhancement on ethnic minority in Hong Kong and job creation for disabilities and rehabilitators.
Photo 1: DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited allocated another HK$ 2 million to the DBS Social Enterprise Advancement for local enterprises to enhance their commercial viability and social impact. Today’s launch was officiated by (left to right) Mr. Sebastian Paredes, Chief Executive Officer of DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, Ms. Florence Hui, Under Secretary for Home Affairs, and Mr. Chua Hoi Wai, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Council of Social Service.
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