When Arnold Chan was 13, he participated in a volunteer project on poverty and visited some subdivided flats in Sham Shui Po. For the first time, he realized that not all children in Hong Kong had an equal opportunity to learn, grow and realize their potential.
Chan followed a traditional education path and enjoyed a successful career as an investment banker with a global financial institution. But the experience he had as a teenager never left him and, after quitting his job in 2013, he set up Teach For Hong Kong to try and level the playing field for Hong Kong children in terms of educational opportunities.
At webinar on 18 May, Chan shared his entrepreneurial story of founding the social enterprise with a group of secondary school students.
He first introduced the organization and its mission. Teach For Hong Kong aims to develop a community of leaders to help address the issue of access to education. Its one-year fellowship programme recruits young graduates and aims to equip its participants with leadership skills and professional education knowledge that will enable them to make an impact in the classroom to benefit the whole community.
Chan told the students that he didn't have an easy ride when he first set up the organization. His team initially faced difficulties in raising funds and seeking recognition from the education sector.
He advised students who plan to start their own business to cultivate a growth mindset, meaning that they should understand that talent and ability can be achieved through hard work and dedication. He also suggested students expose themselves to various new ventures, which may lead to potential opportunities, and will help them to meet more people to broaden their horizons.