Priorities:Lingnan University Faculty Project

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Project Name: Inclusive Entrepreneurship in the Local Community

Project by Faculty Innovation Fellows Candidate Nicholas Ooi

Why is this project important to you, your department, & your Fellows?

We believe that anyone can become an entrepreneur, even non-traditional Liberal Arts students, as long as they have access to proper training, funding mentorship, and networks. At Lingnan, LEI incubates Lingnanians to become social entrepreneurs who create innovative, practical, and sustainable solutions to address real-world problems through different occasions such as competitions, workshops, exhibitions, conferences, and symposiums. We promote inclusion both for entrepreneurs and their clients in the following ways. We hope Lingnan University would be the innovation and entrepreneurship hub in the New Territory West of Hong Kong to provide different kind of resources like training, funding, networks, mentorship and more to engage the community in the nearby districts.

Description

Lingnan University is the liberal arts university in Hong Kong and we have the longest established tradition among the local institutions of higher education. Lingnan’s Liberal Arts education offers a perfect foundation for entrepreneurship, because our students learn to look beyond disciplinary boundaries, and envision new possibilities. Entrepreneurship is a practical manifestation of liberal arts students’ creative mindset, and we train our students to become social entrepreneurs who create innovative, practical, and sustainable solutions to real-world problems. The main challenges that non-traditional entrepreneurs face are lack of startup capital, a perceived lack of technical skills, and lack of experience with entrepreneurship. We assist Lingnan’s students in all of these aspects by:

Design Thinking and Design Innovation Training
The entrepreneurial mindset is a state of mind which is interested in the pursuit of opportunity with scarce, uncontrolled resources and it requires a high level of problem-solving abilities. Therefore, LEI works with faculties and departments to integrate practices like Design Thinking, Participatory Design, and Lego Serious Play (LSP) pedagogies to improve teaching and learning effectiveness by motivating high levels of communication and interactions in class through group problem-solving.

Facilitation of funding by LEI
Offering funding options in the form of the Entrepreneurial Knowledge Transfer (EKT) Fund which provides HKD20.000 to students who are eager to start their own initiatives, and facilitating students in seeking out other sources of funding, be it public or private.

Entrepreneurial Related Training
LU’s Liberal Arts students are often very interested in entrepreneurship but feel that they lack technical knowledge in the form of programming, industrial product design, engineering, etc. We offer training in emerging technologies such as programming, robotics, and 3D-printing, to broaden our students’ skill set and interests, and prepare them to become innovative entrepreneurs who can tackle upcoming global challenges.

Experiencing entrepreneurship
LEI encourages students to join local and international competitions, such as the Hong Kong Social Enterprise Challenge, Hult Prize, Enactus and offers students a chance to fine-tune their entrepreneurial proposals through events such as the Startup Weekend @ Lingnan University and Hong Kong Techathon.

Introduction of Humanitarian Technology
The focus is to make simple but potentially life-changing technology accessible to deprived communities, and to innovate processes to remove bottlenecks which hinder socio-economic development. Above all, it is hoped to explore the most sustainable form of deployment of these technologies so that it satisfies people’s basic needs, and turn them into a business idea.

Stakeholders served

Local community and public members at Hong Kong New Territory West

  1. Elders
  2. Ethnic Minorities
  3. People with Disabilities

Local primary, secondary schools and university

  1. Baptist Wing Lung Secondary School
  2. Yan Chai Hospital No.2 Secondary School
  3. Ho Ngai College (Sponsored By Sik Sik Yuen)
  4. Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Tuen Mun)
  5. Chu Hai College of Higher Education

NGOs and Government Organization

  1. Yan Oi Tong Youth Space
  2. Tung Wah Hospital Group
  3. Salvation Army
  4. Tuen Mun District Council

Key Milestones

  • December 2020:
    • Connect with different community agencies and partners for the collaboration
    • Connect with Faculty of Business for the collaboration
  • March 2021:
    • Recruit students’ entrepreneurs and provide training and competition opportunities for this group of students
  • June 2021
    • Secure funding to support the project
    • Recruit community entrepreneurs and provide training
  • September 2021:
    • Incubate the first Inclusive start-up
  • December 2021:
    • Incubate more Inclusive start-ups and provide entrepreneurial skills training
  • March 2022:
    • Review with the start-up teams

An Innovation Portfolio

For the Innovation Portfolio, I will include activities and worksheets plan to share with peers.


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