International Social Entrepreneurs and local Hong Kong business leaders come together to draw awareness of Corporate Social Responsibility in Asia and potential transformation to Social Business
On December 15th, “World Social Entrepreneurship Summit” (the Summit) with “Social Caring Pledge Scheme Ceremony”, was held at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, hosted by Social Enterprise Research Academy (SERA). In the presence of over 250 guests, including members from political, academic and business communities, as well as overseas entrepreneurial experts, SERA directed a summit with “Social Entrepreneurship” as its theme of the discussion and called 40 corporate leaders to action through the Social Caring Pledge Scheme Ceremony, agreeing to the protocol of driving social responsibility in on both a corporate and individual level, taking initiatives to promote betterment in communities, and amplifying the impact brought by social innovation.
The principal goal of the Summit was to provide a cross-cultural platform for corporate decision makers to discuss the benefits of involving socio values in the business model and how solving socio-environmental issues could maximize corporate value. This event invited the Member of Executive Council and the Chairman of the Community Investment and Inclusion Fund Committee Executive Dr The Honourable LAM Ching-choi, BBS, JP as the officiating guest and welcomed Former President of United Nations Global Compact Network Mr. Gustavo Perez Berlanga from New York, Managing Director of The Big Issue Group Mr. John Montague from UK, Co-founder & CEO of myHarapan & the Youth Trust Foundation Ms. Nurfarini Daing from Malaysia, and Co-founder & CEO of Instellar & UnLtd Romy Cahyadi as guest speakers at the summit. In addition, in attendance at the ceremony were Dr. Wingco Lo JP, Honorary President of The Y.Elites Association; Ms. Pauline Ngan BBS JP,Deputy of the 13th National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China; Mr. Addy Wong MH, Chairman and CEO of Centaline Property Agency Ltd Asia Pacific; Dr. Chow Pak Chin BBS JP,Founding Chairman of The HKMA Charitable Foundation; Dr. Mona Chau, Chairman of Hong Kong Chinese Women’s Club; Mr. Wayne Chan, Director of Savills Project Consultancy Limited, and et al.
World Social Entrepreneurship Summit
The Executive Director of SERA, Ms. Bonnie Liao, was present to give an opening speech. During the opening speech, Ms. Liao brought out a comparative scene of the worldwide social enterprises while introducing the status quo of social entrepreneurship in Asia, encouraging all the attendees to support social responsibility together.
With a speech titled “Sustainable Supply Chain and Social Enterprises”, Mr. Gustavo Berlanga shared with the audience his journey in social responsibility and sustainability in Toks, a multi-unit restaurant chain based in Mexico. He addressed the 3 stages in the evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility: Philanthropy, Social and Environmental Impacts, and Supply Chain Sustainability. Moreover, through the specific example of the Santa Rosa facility and Sustainable Coffee Project, Mr. Berlanga demonstrated that “responsible business is good business”.
In the speech named “The Story of UK’s first ‘Social Merchant Bank'”, Mr. Montague presented his insightful elaboration on the upgrade of The Big Issue‘s business model. According to Mr. Montague’s report, with The Big Issue Invest, The Big Issue Group has been empowered to benefit society more effectively, by managing social impact investment funds and providing social impact loans. The value of social businesses could be better realized through the integrated access to network, funding and business support.
The lady guest speaker, Ms. Nurfarini Daing, had her speech titled “The Value of Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship”, sharing her precious experience from various angles. She demonstrated that the powerful influence of Social Innovation could be directed not only to society but also to individuals’ development, especially for the youth; moreover, myHarapan has helped developing social entrepreneurs among the grassroot communities, with a focus on nurturing a mutually supported and benefited ecosystem among schools, citizens, the business community and government.
As the final guest speaker, Mr. Romy Cahyadi integrated different points of view to deliver a mind-refreshing speech called “Social Enterprises Landscape in Indonesia”. Mr. Cahyadi introduced 52 important players in the Indonesian social entrepreneurship space; then, the challenges and opportunities existing in Indonesia were thoroughly examined. Finally, the strategic positioning of Instellar was explained.
The presentation section was followed by an interactive discussion among guest speakers and audience members, with Dr. Ilex K.K. Lam as the moderator. Dr. Lam directed a comparative and profound discussion, while letting several thoughtful questions from the audience get answered by the guests.
Social Caring Pledge Scheme Ceremony
SERA also hosted the Social Caring Pledge Scheme Ceremony, witnessed by the international guests and local leaders from diverse fields. The pledge embodies the promise of devotion to the communities and making every stakeholder better off. 40 corporates/entrepreneurs enrolled in the scheme and agreed to dedicate their effort to protecting morals and rights in efficient and innovative ways.
The main thrust of the pledge is amplifying the impact bought by social innovation, promoting social awareness among corporates and individuals, and sustaining the confidence of social enterprises so asto proceed further. The participants committed to the following statements:
Pledge 1: We will undertake initiatives to promote environmental protection.
Pledge 2: We will eliminate the discrimination of employment and occupation.
Pledge 3: We will eliminate all forms of forced and compulsory labor.
Pledge 4: We will promote community involvement and development.
Pledge 5: We will work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
Pledge 6: We will provide quality, health and safety products and/or services to customers.
The Social Caring Pledge Scheme Ceremony, hosted by SERA, has received ongoing support greatly from different sectors. The Pledge Scheme is signed and recognized by Nobel Laureates Professor Harald zur Hausen and Professor Kurt Wuthrich, and is also supported by Mr. Gustavo Berlanga, Former President of UN Global Compact and SERA Honorary President. Being widely supported by leaders from all aspects, the scheme has accumulatively welcomed over 300 enterprises. The Pledge Scheme award presentation ceremony is an industry-wide, well-received biannual occasion which will surely proceed further based on its solid foundation.