LEI Supports the Community, Alumni and Entrepreneurs to Achieve SDGs
To support community innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) related projects, Lingnan Entrepreneurship Initiative (LEI) developed different programmes and provide different supports to engage public audiences and community members. Some supports include workshops, training, weekend market, funding and more.
Re:Imagine New Territories West (NTW) Weekend Market
With the aim to catalyze the innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) culture in the New Territories West of Hong Kong, Lingnan University and the Lingnan Entrepreneurship Initiative organized the weekend market which would serve as a platform for innovators and entrepreneurs to showcase their new products and services to the community, as well as introduce some relevant supports and resources available in the area and beyond. Being the only public university in the region, Lingnan University is dedicated to co-create a hub of talents and resources for I&E activities in the area. More than 500 beneficiaries have attended the event on 13 Jun 2021. There 20 booths hosted by community partners and entrepreneurs from diverse industries, allowing the public to learn more about innovative products and services. It also served as a platform encouraging different parties to exchange ideas.
Participatory Design and Design Thinking Workshops for Community
To introduce the different problem-solving methods to the community members, LEI organized many free workshops and training on the topics of Participatory Design, Design Thinking and Lego Serious Play. These problem-solving methods are often used by entrepreneurs during the business development stage to understand the current social problems, and then build prototypes for market segmentation. Some participants include:
- Service users from Elder Academy of Lingnan University
- Service users (elders and youth) from the Hong Kong Society for the Deaf
- Students of Lui Cheung Kwong Lutheran College and Wong Shiu Chi Secondary School
- Participants from The Hive, Agorize and The Nest
- General audiences from the New Territories West
Startup Weekend Hong Kong @ Lingnan University Competitions
Startup Weekend Hong Kong @ Lingnan University is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to design and build innovative products and services that could later develop into start-ups or social enterprises. LEI collaborates with different partners each year to organize this competition with different themes and it is open to all general public, secondary school students, university school students, elders, singleton women and more. The previous topics include:
- Positive Ageing
- Climate Action
- Social Impact
The winners will them get a chance to proceed to the Hong Kong Social Enterprise Challenge (HKSEC).
Humanitarian Technology and the “Start-up Trial Fund" (STF)
The outbreak of COVID-19 in the past year has threatened the well-being of everyone in Hong Kong and beyond. During this time, Lingnan Entrepreneurship Initiative (LEI) provides various funding to support entrepreneurs and innovators to incubate and sustain their start-up projects, as well as support other community projects. Trial-and-error is a continuous process of doing a start-up. It is crucial to learn quickly from failures and make a pivot. LEI is offering a subsidy to encourage and support students and the community to make a prototype and test their business ideas before they advance their steps in the entrepreneurial journey. Some of the Humanitarian Technology products and services were developed throughout these few years with the service users and service agencies. More.
- UV-C disinfection robot with Caritas (NGO) and Health in Action (NGO)
- Furniture-coffin with Forget Thee Not (Social Enterprise)
- Transparent Mask with The Hong Kong Society for the Deaf
- Air-Purifier Machine for Sub-divided Households with families living in Sham Shui Po’s sub-divided flats
Graduate Support Fund
In response to the adverse economy and rising unemployment rate, LEI proposes to introduce a series of new programmes to provide immediate support and career development aid to LU graduates since 2020. These new LEI programmes have empowered 55 graduates to explore alternative career opportunities, gain practical work experience, and exercise workplace leadership. Some social enterprises spin-out from this programme to support the community even during the pandemic: More
- REhome - REhome is co-founded by Jackie Ng (Political Science) and Toby To (China and Asia Pacific Studies). It is a social enterprise offering household renovation, repair and pest control services to grassroots households and the elderly in Tin Shui Wai district to improve their quality of life and wellbeing. The company also hires retired workers to train youth with limited educational backgrounds, as well as rehabilitated offenders who need skills and experience to improve their employability.
- Here4youevents - Hereforyouevents is co-founded by two ethnic minority (EM) students at Lingnan University. he target market for Hereforyouevents is ethnic minorities, such as Pakistanis, Indians, Nepalese, Filipinos, and Bangladeshis. Since there is an inadequate number of event organizers for ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, Hereforyouevents would like to target these groups and allow them to experience and preserve their traditional cultures while celebrating their special days.
Innovation and Impact Fund (IIF) and Student Entrepreneurial Exploration Development (SEED) Fund
The University considers the continuous contribution to society by allowing students and faculty to create greater knowledge transfer as part of its endeavour of providing quality education. To keep up this effort and provide career development aids, the University encourages and supports faculty members and students to generate innovative ideas, create opportunities, and master risk and failure while engaging in their formal learning and teaching. To this end, the Entrepreneurship Programme under the University’s Innovation and Impact Fund (IIF) is designed to support faculty members and students to create a positive impact for society while developing entrepreneurial capacity and spirit. More
Some of the start-ups that support the community development as below:
- Gatherly - Gathlerly offers a wide range of online and offline workshops taught by talented retirees, such as a tie-dye workshop, leather workshop, guided tour, etc. In addition, they run an online store selling different handmade products made by their talented retirees.
- HobbyHK - HobbyHK is a youth education organization that aims to be an agent of change in students' lives, challenging the strict profit and target-oriented world which they live in today. They engage students with passionate teaching in order to nurture their reasoning abilities, curiosity, and empathy towards society and the natural environment. Courses offered include astronomy, ecology, life education, art, and artistry, etc.
- SENmily - Senmily HK is dedicated to serving children with special educational needs and their parents in Hong Kong. They aim to establish a mutual-help community by providing diversified educational and networking programs to these under-resourced families in strengthening family bonds. With the envision to cultivate an inclusive society, they strive to provide equal opportunities for children with special educational needs and their parents to achieve personal growth and social participation, as well as to provide volunteer opportunities for the public to participate. They believe a more harmonious society could be built through active community involvement.
- Asaqua - Asaqua hopes to empower communities in need to harvest rainwater in constructive and cost-effective ways and to help prevent the spread of waterborne diseases, especially in Uganda.
- StoreTruck - Store Truck 611 is a start-up that aims to promote Zero Hunger and Good Health & Well-being. They offers micro-green pots & seeds for packaged sales via online platforms. The plants are all editable vegetables or herbs. Micro-green pots will be printed out via 3D printer.
- iRetireeHK - iReitreeHK is the app targeting the mental health of retirees (60-75 years old), which helps them to re-find their value in society through providing psychosocial support and hence promote active ageing. The R&D team hopes that through iRetiree's website and application, the social participation of the young and old generation can be maintained and the sense of connection can be enhanced. Their ultimate goal is to help elderly find their social value again, and to brighten them every day.
- Craft with Heart - Craft with heart is a social enterprise aims to upcycle the pallet into furniture then distribute it to the needy. They want to promote three messages, “Green”,” Service,” and “Connection”.