France promotes Social Innovation among Hong Kong young entrepreneurs [fr]
The Consulate General of France, in partner with Baptist Oi Kwan Social Services, launched the first Hong Kong – France Social Innovation Prize last October. The 1st edition, which has received 100 applications from over 300 students, has come to an end on June 13th after the 10 shortlisted applications presented their projects at the final stage of the competition in front of a jury of local experts in social innovation and enterprise.
Youth empowerment is a shared priority between Hong Kong and France. Global challenges, such as protecting our environment and make the world more inclusive that form part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, require global thinking and local solutions. In parallel, France has been pioneering the principle of “Tech-for-good” through active negotiations in international organisations and organisation of local initiatives worldwide. In this respect, the Prize in Hong Kong was launched to foster students’ creativity and entrepreneurship to tackle social issues through viable business models, digital solutions and/or community-building initiatives in the areas of environmental issues and social inclusion.
To place everyone on an equal footing for the “pitch session” in the front of the jury, the Consulate has offered the 10 finalist teams a tailor-made e-training provided by the French social enterprise MakeSense to improve essential public speaking skills and share useful tips.
Composed of members from the French Consulate, Baptist Oi Kwan Social Services, Hong Kong Social Entrepreprise Incubation Center and WWF Hong Kong, the jury was truly impressed by the quality of the presentations and, after careful deliberation, selected the three winning teams as follows:
First Prize - Fu Yin Ki Carrie, Cheung Ka Hei, Ng Elisabeth for the team "Airify"- Air pollution has long been under the spotlight for the densely-populated metropolis, Hong Kong. Their team brings out the idea of attaching air purifiers on street lamp which the juries deem most relevant to this metropole.
Second Prize - Chan Luanne Wing for "Handy" Chan Luanne Wing for "Handy": Her project on how to make communication through sign language more accessible with an app and her excellent performance during the presentation have definitely attracted juries’ attention!
Third Prize - Mak Ho Kei, Mok Chun Yee Ivan, Fong Chun Yin for the team "Alpine": could we design an app mapping the urban space to make it more easily navigable for individuals with disabilities? The three students wish to make a change in this city where public accessibility for disabled people are somewhat limited.
They will receive cash rewards (1st Prize= 20,000 HKD/ 2nd prize = 10,000 HKD/ 3rd prize = 5,000 HKD) as well as the invaluable mentorship from our outstanding partner organisations including Hong Kong Social Entrepreprise Incubation Center, WWF HK and Cyberport. A Certificate of Participation issued by the French Consulate will also be granted to the all the participants.
The pitching of all 10 projects was live-streamed on Consulate’s Facebook and Instagram (@franceinhk) You could still find the live video below.
Session 1 (Social Innovators, Handy, Airify, 1+1 = 3): https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=393816578201754
Session 2 (The Hidden Eyes, E-Farming HK, Move It): https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=470557463783537
Session 3 (Ideeator, Team RECO, Alpine): https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=295938164775786
Announcement of winner: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=688949575284877
We would like to show our gratitude to all the candidates who have shared with us their project, and the jurors for their invaluable time and expertise. A special thanks to MakeSense, Invest HK, StartmeupHK and Youth Portal for their support and assistance. Finally, our sincere thanks to our prize co-organisor Baptist Oi Kwan Social Services and our partner organisations - HKSEIC, WWF HK and Cyberport - for providing the winning teams with the opportunity to further their projects for the betterment of Hong Kong. The 2nd edition of the Prize for Social Innovation will come back at the autumn 2020. We look forward to receiving more of your brilliant and ambitious projects!