[eNews] Impact Extends Beyond Campus

A HK$250,000 social impact grant was awarded to “LocalMotion”, as a result of the collaboration by HKUST students and an innovative course - the Social Entrepreneurship and Venture Philanthropy.

LocalMotion is the latest winner of the grant funding through the Social Entrepreneurship and Venture Philanthropy Course offered at HKUST and taught by Professor Marie Rosencrantz. This social enterprise start-up matches charities with pro-bono marketing and design services from professional volunteers and corporates. Through the support of LocalMotion, charities can access high-quality professional services for a fraction of the market price.

A team consisting of students from the HKUST MBA, MSc and World Bachelor in Business (WBB) UG programs helped Local Motion develop their scale-up strategy and wrote a funding proposal and pitch-presentation. In a head-to-head competition with three other teams, they secured the HK$250,000 grant from The Yeh Family Philanthropy foundation.

Angus Perry, one of the full-time MBA students who worked on the grant winning project, said: “This course opened my eyes to the vast world of sustainable businesses and social enterprise. I had limited knowledge prior, but this course has changed my perception and left me with a sense of empowerment that we can take on the world’s biggest challenges and make a difference. It is the most rewarding subject that I have undertaken.”

Belinda Poole, one of the co-founders of LocalMotion, remarked: “Business is a team sport. We got to where we are because we drew on the experience of people who are smarter and more experienced than we are. Our experience with the HKUST students suggests that this continues to be the right approach for the future.”

While there can only be one grant winner at the end of each course, all students and social venture partners finished the course with a better understanding of how business solutions can help address social challenges. The three social enterprises that did not win the grant this semester will still be able to use the funding proposals and pitch presentations developed by their student teams to apply for funding from other sources.

Professor Rosencrantz acknowledged the unique collaboration behind the course: "We are very grateful for the support from The Yeh Family Philanthropy foundation and the Hong Kong SAR government's Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SIE) Fund for the generous support for our HKUST students and their social venture partners. We all look forward to another exciting course for the fall semester!”


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