Nurturing Social Minds partners with innovative Social Businesses for each course. Each Social Business has a proven product or service that is both commercially viable and provides a benefit to society.
HONG KONG TRANSLINGUAL SERVICES (AUTUMN 2015)
Social Mission: Hong Kong TranLingual Services (HKTS) aims at solving language problems of ethnic minorities and to offer working opportunities with professional career paths. Simultaneously, HKTS provides sign language interpretation for the Deaf. We aim at creating a language barrier-free environment that leads to social harmony. Business Model: HKTS provides various types of interpretation services, such as on-site, telephone, video-conference and written translation. Charges will be paid by the service provider, like Hospital Authority, schools and government departments, instead of the ethnic minorities themselves. Founding Team: HKSKH Lady MacLehose Centre Impact: Since 2010, about 35,000 translation services have been provided, especially to patients of public hospitals. Overcoming the language barrier helps doctors as well since they can make more accurate judgments and give proper medication to the patients. The service also benefits the ethnic minority interpreters who are able to earn money for themselves and have a professional career path. Meanwhile, the job flexibility allows some housewives to strike a balance between working and taking care of their families.
HKUST Autumn 2015
DIALOGUE EXPERIENCE SILENCE
Social Mission: Dialogue Experience Silence (DE Silence) invites participants to experience a silent world. Dialogue Experience Silence programs feature the Deaf engaging and interacting with customers in silence in a variety of different programs. It is unique in the way that our programs break down barriers between human beings – participants and Deaf staff alike. Positive behaviors like team spirit, patience, and empathy are observed. For the Deaf – We empower Deaf trainers by knowledge transfer, nurture the Deaf to growth with us by on-going professional trainings and support the Deaf to realize their dreams. For the Deaf Community – Experience-sharing on inclusion, offer respectful jobs and trainings to the Deaf. Business model: Revenue comes from experiential learning workshops including silence workshop series, DE Motion, and Impactainment programs including Silent Yum Cha, Silence le Cabaret—the world’s first silent theatrical dining event. Teambuilding and corporate training Silence Corporate Training workshop – where a team from an organization will have to work together to complete a series of increasingly difficult exercises, in complete silence. Silence Motion 360 – A lighthearted teambuilding workshop that incorporates drama, silence and creativity to create a silent performance with your teammates. Participants are challenged to come up with the story, characters, costumes and the entire performance in complete silence. Impactainment (Entertainment with impact) Silence Le Cabaret – Combining dinner, theatre and silence, a troupe of Deaf performers entertains and draws the audience into the show, making the audience a part of the performance. Complete with costume and theme, the current show is based on a well known crime thriller in Hong Kong. Silence Yum Cha – A twist on the traditional Chinese afternoon tea experience, the entire meal will be in Silence. Participants will take part in a series of fun games and activities while also needing to communicate and get to know each other – all in silence. Even ordering food and drink will require your creative non-verbal communication. Founding Team: Ms Fiona Wat and Mr Patrick Cheung Impact: With the support of Dr. Sammy Fung and Miss Monica Lo at The University of Hong Kong and Miss Suzanna Chiu at The Hong Kong Baptist University, we have done social reports to prove our social impact to society. We have supported a few people of difference (PoD) social entrepreneurs in developing their own business. SROI – HKD 14.7 of social impact is generated. Social objective: Dialogue Experience Silence aims to expand its business within the three major areas of corporate training, education and leisure/entertainment segments, with new partners and new concepts to enable a sustainable business.
Social Mission: Kids4Kids believes in a world where all young people should, by the power of their positive actions, have the opportunity to make a difference. Through service and creativity, Kids4Kids develops platforms to empower all young people to be socially responsible and community conscious. Business Model: Kids4Kids’ revenue derives primarily from a combination of:
- Traditional fundraising as a registered charity, including from our biennial gala dinner and foundation grants;
- Corporate sponsorship for programs such as our Buddy Reading literacy development program and our Powered by Youth and Sharing For a Cause youth empowerment programs;
- Program income from the sale of the books of winning entries from our Writing For A Cause competition, participation payment by learning centres and full fee- paying students for our Powered by Youth empowerment program.
- 800+ hours reading aloud to kids
- 20+ community centres and schools have benefited from our programs
- 5270+ children have been read to under the Buddy Reading scheme
- Over 5,000 children from 56 primary and secondary schools 10 learning centres have participated in Writing for a Cause
- 67 stories have been published in Kids4Kids Books and Treasury
- 9 youth forums and 140 schools
- Collected and donated 110,560+ items through our annual ‘Sharing for a Cause’ campaign
Social Mission: Outwhiz is an innovative online and mobile platform for practicing and learning Math and English. Our social mission is to alleviate the tutoring cost burden for low-income families in Hong Kong and other parts of the world. By empowering low-income students, we hope to contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty through educational achievement. Let’s make this more concrete. The monthly median household income for Hong Kong families was $23500 in 2014. If a student attends a tutoring program at the cost of $650 a month per academic subject, the $650 alone would constitute 2.8% of median household income. Imagine the household has 2 kids each receiving tutoring in Chinese, English and Math – that would be $3900 a month, or 16.6% of median household income. To alleviate this tutoring cost burden, Outwhiz wants to provide low-income households the tools, curriculum and content for students to practice and learn Math and English themselves, for free. We already support Math and English practice in 6 languages – including Traditional and Simplified Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean and Bahasa Indonesian. In addition, we would like to create a learning-Chinese curriculum in the future, so that students can practice and learn Chinese. Business Model: Revenue Model Outwhiz offers access to educational exercises and content for free. Optionally, paid subscriptions are available for parents to view advanced learning analytics – where they can review student progress, diagnose strengths and weakness, and understand studying habits. Figure 2. Sample of analytics and reward store on Outwhiz Some paid subscriptions also include Outwhiz coins, which can be used to redeem rewards on the Outwhiz Reward Store. Target customer segment Outwhiz’s target customers are parents and students (age 5 to 14), as well as schools who want to supplement classroom learning with our practice platform. With our freemium model, low-income families, ethnic minorities and new- arrival immigrants can all benefit from using our platform for free. Meanwhile, paid subscriptions allow us to operate in a sustainable manner. Founding Team: Andrew Kwan is a Hong Kong native turned Silicon Valley software engineer (Yahoo and SugarSync) who has returned to Hong Kong for startup entrepreneurship. He received his BA in economics from Harvard, MS in Management Science & Engineering and MS in Computer Science from Stanford. Michael Luk is a Hong Kong native who overcame adversity at school to co-found Outwhiz. His academic journey was not smooth, having received a score of 10 out of 40 in the HKCEE (thus was not admitted to Form 6). He attended a vocational training program and subsequently taught himself software programming with online courses. While co-founding Outwhiz with Andrew, Michael has been working on his university degree part-time at Poly U. Impact:
Outwhiz’s mission is to motivate students to learn globally. Our social impact in Hong Kong can be measured by: i) the number of low-income Hong Kong students who use this platform ii) what students do on Outwhiz e.g. the amount of exercises they complete, improvement in accuracy etc. iii) the number of schools that work with Outwhiz to roll out this service to low-income families, ethnic minorities and new-arrival immigrants It is possible to quantitatively measure the impact of Outwhiz. For example, say a school uses Outwhiz to offer after-school tutoring in the computer lab using Outwhiz. We can quantify the number of low-income students impacted in the program and how much cost they have saved in terms of tutoring fees for their families etc. In addition, qualitative measurements are possible. For example, student, parents and teachers can provide testimonials in writing or in the form of YouTube videos. This way, they can share and publish their experience benefiting from Outwhiz to the wider Hong Kong community.
HKUST Spring 2015
Social mission: Hearing impairment is a hidden epidemic. 15% to 20% of the population in the world would benefit from hearing aids and over 38% of the world has significant hearing loss. Yet most of the affected are not aware of their condition or are daunted by the process to receive free or low cost government hearing care – scheduling a free hearing test typically requires a 3-6 month wait, and if eligible, receiving and fitting a free hearing aid takes up to 3 years. ACE HEARING is the world’s first validated technology to provide accurate hearing screening for the masses. With a calibrated mobile device and headphones, a trained person (e.g. a nurse) can administer a hearing screening session at the point of need within 5 minutes. This technology has been verified by a series of clinical trials with 5 medical journal publications, showing that ACE HEARING can effectively broaden the reach of hearing health care to the general public. The mission of the company is related to poverty alleviation because its technology can assist the hearing disadvantaged communities. Business model: ACE HEARING is already deployed in South Africa for public hearing screening and corporate wellness programs. The business is self-sustained on a screening fee, paid by the subject or subsidized by government/insurance. Should a subject be deemed to require further assistance and evaluation, a referral is given and there may be a referral fee. Team Composition: Founding Team: Prof. Andrew van Hasselt, Paul Lee, Andy Cheng, Dr. Anna Kam, Prof. Tan Lee and Dr. John Sung Impact: ACE HEARING is a Hong Kong invention that has found a foothold in the Third World, and we would like to bring it back to benefit the Hong Kong community. Although hearing impairment is an invisible and tolerated disability, it has a significant negative impact on affected people, their immediate circle and society in general. According to a 2007 report by the Better Hearing Institute titled “The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on Household Income”, untreated hearing loss was shown to negatively impact household income on average up to US$12,000 in the USA. At a 15% tax bracket, the cost to the US society could well be in excess of US$18 billion due to unrealized taxes. The use of hearing instruments is shown to mitigate the effects of hearing loss by 50%, and historically one of the biggest hindrances is the lack of awareness and inaccessibility of hearing screening/testing. ACE HEARING is designed to change that.
Social mission: Barrier-free School (BFS) is a social enterprise which provides training and job coaching to people with disabilities (PWDs) in Hong Kong. The school developed an easy-accessible eLearning platform and high quality career-oriented courses to let PDWs learn without barriers anywhere and at anytime. BFS also provides IT accessibility consultancy services and customised training packages to companies/organisations. Business model: There are 4 different sources of revenue: 1) group courses paid by organisations, 2) individual courses paid using study coupons from enterprises, 3) IT accessibility paid by companies and 4) Job hunting for freelance and contract jobs. Founding Team: Dr. Kristen Li, Andy Chan, Wing Cheung, Dr. Wilman Zou, Karen Chen, David Tsao Impact: Impact will be measured through the number of PWDs that receive training and gain employment afterward. The difference in income between the same student before and after training directly measures the value added by Barrier-free School, and these numbers can be aggregated across all students. BFS conducts research to measure the qualitative aspects of increases in self confidence, accomplishment, interpersonal skills and optimism of PWDs that have gone through the courses.
Social mission: Education is not available for all, and this is why organisations such as Khan Academy and Coursera are popular, as they have levelled the battle field, providing high quality education to students around the world. Yet they focus on providing lessons and content videos to students, but what if the student doesn’t understand, or has questions? Who can they go to? This is the biggest problem that we are trying to solve. Snapask wants to provide an instant, high quality, cost effective tutoring service to all students. Our core product is a mobile app that allows students to ask questions about anything in one click. And we can connect them to the most eligible teacher to provide a real-time one-to-one online class. Our social mission is to make private tuition affordable, so that students from poor backgrounds can also have access to the educational support they need. Business model: A high percentage of our revenue will come from student subscription fees at HKD100-200 per month. In the long run, we will rely on big data analysis, and provide schools with useful data on the student learning process. Tutors are paid on a question-by-question basis at HKD5 per question. Founding Team: Timothy Yu, Tracey Ma, Philip Hong, Bradley Chiang Impact: We expect this to be a global product, but currently we’re starting small in Hong Kong. There are 130 million uneducated children on Earth and, with an expected shortage of 18 million teachers by the end of 2020. We do not see this as a problem of an undeveloped education system, but an issue of imbalanced resource distribution and accessibility. With technology, we aim to provide the platform for everyone in the world to receive proper education without a concern of wealth and social status.
Social mission: Twopresents’ mission is to make celebrations more meaningful by turning them into an occasion to do good and reduce waste.” To fulfill this mission, Twopresents provides celebrants with an innovative online party invitation tool, which promotes charitable giving on top of traditional gifting (giving and receiving gifts). The beneficiaries are primarily charities in Hong Kong. Business model: Revenue model: 1. Main revenue source: 5% fees from total contributions from each event planned on our platform a. Free for Hosts b. Free for Guests c. Fees taken out of the portion which is given to Charity 2 Planned secondary revenue source: Value-add services a. Revenue share of sales referred from Twopresents b. Affiliate marketing with established e-commerce companies c. Advertising party planning products and services on our content marketing site Our target audience: Anyone planning a celebration that would suggest gifting Phase 1: Children’s party celebrations: Parents who wish to reduce birthday party gifts waste and want to teach their children charitable values and support a charity. Phase 2: Adults party celebrations: Adults who wish to reduce celebrations’ gifts waste and want to actively contribute to the society. They can use Twopresents for their birthday parties, weddings, farewell parties, baby showers etc… Corporations: Corporate Christmas parties, employees leaving party etc… Founding Team: Karola Horvath Szovati, Shirin Staerkle, Svetlana Kumanova Impact: Social objective: generate funds for charities, create social change (change traditional celebrations) Educational objective: raise social and environmental awareness from very young age & teach to give back. Environmental objective: reduce waste At present our platform benefits a range of 24+ diverse charities in the field of health& illness, environment, children, education, disability, animals, elderly and women. Since inception, Twopresents has facilitated raising HK$1.1 million, half of which has benefited locally registered charities whilst the other half was spent on meaningful gifts as opposed to unnecessary and wasteful gifts. In addition, Twopresents has helped increase awareness amongst more then 300 users. It is a concept that is rapidly and virally growing as every celebrant opens the door to potentially 20 new users (average no. of guests invited to parties).