The Hong Kong Spirit Ambassador program is being held for the fifth time this year, and among the six ambassadors selected are two entrepreneurial elites.
They are Social Ventures Hong Kong founder and chief executive Francis Ngai Wah- sing, who was a top executive at PCCW, and Tse Sui Luen Jewellery deputy chairman Erwin Steve Huang, who was involved in the development of the mobile link service for the elderly.
Of the many social enterprises initiated by Social Ventures, more than half have achieved a balanced budget, including the well-known barrier-free Diamond Cab service.
Ngai decided to make changes to his life after the birth of his first child. He set up Social Ventures in 2007, realizing his childhood dream of taking part in volunteer work and helping others.
Huang, meanwhile, had participated in RTHK's Rich Mate Poor Mate TV series to experience life in the grass roots.
By taking up the ambassador role, he hopes to convey the commercial sector's care and concern toward the community.
Huang said Adam Smith, the Scot who is the first theorist of capitalism, was also a moral philosopher, showing that businesses and ethics aren't mutually exclusive.
Huang hopes enterprises will not just be concerned with profit, or consider themselves accountable only to shareholders, but will also be responsible to other stakeholders including their staff, customers and the public to pursue justice and make society a better place.
Primary and secondary students are a main service target of Hong Kong Spirit Ambassadors.
The program's chairman, former Ocean Park chief Allan Zeman, hopes young people may be led to bring the passion they have shown in recent social movements to other aspects of the community.
If Hong Kong has more socially responsible entrepreneurs like Ngai and Huang, I think the spirit of Hong Kong would certainly go beyond creating wealth to the enrichment of the soul. Siu Sai-wo is publisher of Sing Tao Daily