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Tapping into Students’ Creativity to Solve Business Problems

In a constantly changing global business environment, companies need to have a good supply of innovative ideas if they are to stay ahead of the game. At the same time, many students are bursting with creativity, but don’t have a great deal of opportunity to put their ideas into practice.

Here at the Chamber, we thought that we could help by linking the business community with Hong Kong’s students. Last month, we teamed up with Agorize and four major companies – CLP Power, Great Eagle Group, LVMH and Sino Group – to launch the Business Case Competition. Each of the four sponsor companies has come up with a project based on real business challenges for the contestants to work on.

Living a greener lifestyle is something that many of the younger generation are passionate about. Meanwhile, businesses across all sectors need to become more sustainable -- to comply with increasing global regulations and to satisfy the changing demands of customers, as well as to benefit the planet.

So it is fitting that all of the cases touch on sustainability. Depending on which company the groups of students choose, they could be trying to make hotels more eco-friendly or considering how mixed-use developments can best be built. Other projects include looking at transport decarbonization and greener fashion.

I’m sure you’ll agree that these are real and serious challenges that we need answers to address. The students will really have to put their thinking caps on to try to come up with workable solutions for these industries.

Application for students is now open, and runs until 13 October, when there will be an online vote. The selected groups that make it through to the next stage will be mentored by experts, giving them fantastic insight and access to these major corporations. Another online vote will whittle the competitors down to the finalists, who will then give a presentation in front of the judges at the Grand Finale and Awards Ceremony on 22 November.

The Business Case Competition gives the sponsor companies the opportunity to tap into the fresh thinking of Hong Kong’s brightest young people. And amid Hong Kong’s manpower challenge, for companies to better understand the expectations of the cream of the city’s new graduates can only be good thing.

The Chamber’s Business-School Partnership Programme, which links local secondary schools with companies in Hong Kong, has been running for almost 20 years. We are delighted that we are now engaging with university students in our efforts to bring business and students together, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the solutions they propose.

Posted on 2019/08/22