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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

Hong Kong’s budding student entrepreneurs show off products at weekend bazaar

Hong Kong’s budding student entrepreneurs show off products at weekend bazaar

Students from Ko Lui Secondary School win award for lampshades made from winter melon skins, purple sweet potatoes, corn husks and lai see packets.

Hong Kong student Hazel Zhang Oi-yu and her classmates put their heads together to come up with an idea to use winter melon skins, purple sweet potatoes, corn husks and lai see packets to produce a line of colourful lampshades.

The 16-strong team of Form Three to Five students soon turned the idea into a business, putting the products on sale for HK$488 (US$62) each at a weekend bazaar that began on Friday.

By the end of the first of three days they had already sold 40 of the handmade items, raking in HK$19,520.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan (second from right) poses with student creators of the colourful lampshades.

“Lots of teenagers like to stay up late at home, and a desk lamp with soft light is a good companion,” Zhang on Saturday said.

Her team from Ko Lui Secondary School in Kwun Tong scooped the Best Oral Presentation Business Plan award at a contest organised by conglomerate Wharf’s charitable Project WeCan Foundation.

The school, whose team beat about 60 others from competing secondary schools, was a regular in the contest over the past eight years and had already picked up previous awards. The lampshades were among about 150 products produced by 1,000 students, all of which were on sale at a bazaar at Plaza Hollywood mall in Diamond Hill on the weekend.

It was the first bazaar to be organised by the project since March 2019 following a hiatus during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Stephen Ng Tin-hoi, committee chairman of the Project WeCan Foundation, urged students to be flexible in running their business, no matter whether they recorded gains or losses.

“It is impossible to go smoothly when you run a business. When you encounter difficulties and setbacks, you must make adjustments according to the current situation. No matter how much money you earn, the most important thing is to earn the learning experience,” he said.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, the officiating guest of the bazaar, said the event created an excellent opportunity for students to start their own businesses.

Students sell products at the weekend bazaar.

“I believe this event will definitely bring inspiration to everyone’s future career development,” he said.

Wan Sze-hang, teacher-in-charge at Ko Lui Secondary School, said a total of 16 students studying business, accounting, finance and economics had joined the team since December.

“We hope this group of students can put what they learned in the textbooks into real-life experience and benefit from the project as they can consolidate their knowledge,” the teacher said.

Wong Sheung-kam, principal of the school, said teachers guided students to gather information and think of different ideas.

“As the students took part in the whole process, they could answer every question from customers at the bazaar,” the principal said.

Second place in the competition went to St Francis of Assisi’s College in Fanling, which sold earrings made of flowers preserved with resin.

Yanice Ngai Ching-yan, 17, a Form Five student, said all flowers were grown in a hydroponic facility on campus. Students had to spend hours putting the ultraviolet resin on every petal to preserve the flowers before turning them into earrings.

A pair of earrings cost HK$118 and nearly 70 pairs were snapped up.

“They were so popular on the first day of the bazaar – we needed to produce another 30 pairs at school last night,” she said.


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