Tsang lauds innovative youngsters with heart

Local | Adeline Mak 4 Jul 2016

Social enterprises can help youngsters realize their dreams, according to Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun- wah.

Writing in his blog yesterday, Tsang said compared with previous generations, today's youths put greater emphasis on realizing their dreams rather than earning enough money. As such, a social enterprise is one way out, he wrote.

In his blog titled "Rich at heart," Tsang said he is more confident of Hong Kong's future after witnessing young Hongkongers trying to fulfill their dreams and change the world at the opening ceremony of Sonova Studio under Social Ventures Hong Kong, or SVhk.

SVhk has participated in more than 20 projects at a cost of HK$150 million, including Green Monday that advocates a green diet and Diamond Cab that provides taxi services for the disabled.

More than 700 workers are hired with 500 professionals working as volunteers.

The So in Sonova Studio stands for "social" and "nova" for "innovation."

Tsang said: "Innovation is the concern of many countries, especially with regard to information technology.

"But innovation should not be limited to technology."

Different sectors in society, such as business operations, education, medical, transport and housing must also think out of the box to seek new solutions for various problems.

Tsang said it is common in Hong Kong and other well-developed countries that "self-actualization" in Maslow's hierarchy is sought after people's basic needs are satisfied.

"Social enterprises not only bring changes to society, but also provide a platform for young people with passion and dreams to actualize their vision. The social value to achieve self- actualization through developing social enterprises is invaluable," Tsang wrote.

The efforts of people behind every social enterprise who contribute to the development turn ideas and dreams from slogans to stories of success. These young people bring hope to Hong Kong, Tsang said.

Chua Hoi-wai, chief executive of Hong Kong Council of Social Service, said starting a social enterprise is not easy but nevertheless is good experience for young people.

"The requirements for social enterprises are higher than those of ordinary start-ups as these must have clear social objectives and shoulder social responsibility." Chua said. "Requirements such as a reasonable level of salary and using healthy and hygienic materials may add to the costs."

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