29 April, 2016
The Liberal Art University in Hong Kong
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Lingnan University e-News

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With their global vision and the passion to serve the community, a group of Lingnan students endeavour to materialise their plan to establish a social enterprise to improve livelihood of people living under poverty in the developing world.

The group, formed by students Branting Lai Kwong-yu (Finance, Graduate), Jenny Lam Wing-yee (Social Science, Year 4), Henry Poon Sing-yu (Accounting, Year 3) and Wong Zi (Sociology, Year 4), generated this idea out from their awareness that there is a lack of toilet facilities in slums in India.  The situation leads to poor hygienic conditions and creates many health problems.  If the situation can be altered with the construction of toilets, medical burden for the urban crowd living under poverty in the developing world can be alleviated substantially.

According to their plan, a social enterprise will be established to build toilet facilities at the slums, while revenues will be generated through the production of fertilisers or other nutrition products using human excrement collected.  The process will involve the introduction of a degradation technique using worms, which is sustainable and environmental friendly.  Under this model, income of local residents can also be increased with their participation in related business activities.

The team joined the 2016 Hult Prize with their innovative proposal.  The Hult Prize is a scheme under which thousands of university students worldwide teamed up to create start-ups aimed at solving an issue faced by billions in need.  Prize winners can turn their ideas into reality with the help of USD1 million in seed funding.  The Lingnan team made their way to the competition’s regional final held in Shanghai in March this year.

While the team has not been selected as a finalist, its members are determined to put their proposal into action.  They plan to establish a social enterprise after they completed their undergraduate study, and embark on research related to environmental policies.  They are also considering organising a study tour to India during summer to establish connections with local concern groups.