The British Council and Education for Good have launched an Inter-University Social Enterprise Taskforce in Hong Kong that will provide a platform for local universities to learn from each other’s experiences and from global best practice in integrating social entrepreneurship and social innovation into their courses and programmes.
Comprising academics and researchers from Hong Kong’s eight government-funded universities as well as an international advisory board of members from the UK, USA, Germany and India, the Inter-University Social Enterprise Taskforce – the first of its kind in the territory – will collaborate on initiatives to nurture social entrepreneurship through their curricula and identify research opportunities with UK and other overseas universities.
Set up to address a lack of shared resources in this rapidly growing area, the taskforce aims to accelerate the development of courses and programmes in social entrepreneurship among the eight local universities. Prof Kevin Au, co-founder of the Chinese University of Hong Kong Centre for Entrepreneurship, expects that, “it will produce an increase in knowledge about, and financial support for, social enterprise education. It will also foster inter-university and cross-disciplinary teaching and research."
Around the world we see rapidly growing interest in integrating social enterprise in higher education
At the November 2014 launch, Susan Tse, the former Director of Programmes of the British Council Hong Kong, said, “In Hong Kong we foster the development of social enterprise through our social investment platform, our partnership with the Hong Kong Social Enterprise Summit and our capacity building training for social entrepreneurs. Putting together this taskforce and promoting inter university exchanges provide additional means of advancing this agenda and building international networks which are key to sharing good practices and advancing social enterprise globally,” she added.
The international advisory board comprises academic experts on social enterprise, social impact measurement and social innovation who will provide the taskforce with access to influential research across a range of key areas. It includes Alex Nicholls, Professor of Social Entrepreneurship within the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford, who also participated in an Inter-University Forum held in March by British Council in Hong Kong.
In a speech at the launch, Professor Peter Mathieson, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, expressed his personal interest in learning more about social enterprise and in how the taskforce will progress. His address was preceded by the Inter-University Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, which featured Dr Scott Sherman, a member of the taskforce’s international advisory board, who is a social entrepreneur, lecturer, and founder of the Transformative Action Institute in the USA.
Education For Good is a Community Interest Company Limited that develops innovative, scalable educational and training programmes contributing to the development of social entrepreneurship and social innovation. Their visions are to inspire everyone to become a changemaker and to enable every business to become a social business.
The eight government-funded universities are City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, Lingnan University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, The University of Hong Kong.