Hong Kong based social entrepreneurship experts advocate that social enterprises should be stand-alone businesses and not be organized by charities. This means they should have a profit generating business model rather than relying on government grants.
According to Alice Yuk, who chairs the Hong Kong General Chamber of Social Enterprises, most social enterprises in Hong Kong are organised by charities. Less than 2 percent of all Hong Kong based social enterprises are private businesses without any government funding. This reliance on grants has become a major obstacle of running a business with a philanthropic mentality. Most social enterprises either flounder after the government grant stops or have to rely on support from other large parent organisations.
Howard Ling, a senior consultant at the HSBC Social Enterprise Business Centre, claims that social enterprises must be framed as a business, which means that every part of the charity or social mission must be part of the business strategy. The result of this strategic approach should be social innovation and businesses that stand on their own feet, generate some money and provide a social benefit, all at the same time.
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