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#StartupToolbox: Recent Growth Of Social & Sustainable Enterprises

Why does investing and developing sustainable practices make such an attractive venture for upcoming startups? EXTRA: 6 Social & Sustainable Startups You Should Watch Out In 2017

Social enterprises in Hong Kong has since developed, growing by more than 50 percent with 60 percent of the entire social enterprise industry being profitable

With Hong Kong’s social enterprises becoming more and more prominent in the city, the government has begun investing and cooperating with social enterprises to improve people's standard of living. This happened in October 2016, where the Hong Kong Government offered families with at least three members flats in Sham Tseng for as little as one Hong Kong Dollar.  While Light Be, a sub-leasing company in Hong Kong created a program similar to the previously mentioned program that the government invested in with the help of a donation of twenty-two million Hong Kong Dollars from Hong Kong Jewellery Corporation Chow Tai Fook.

Although the action in being socially responsible has increased in the past decade, Hong Kong is still falling behind other countries such as Singapore and India. However, it is said this is due to the large finance and banking industry that Hong kong possess compared to the heavy manufacturing cities of India and Singapore. 

Nevertheless Hong Kong is still growing with more and more investments being made, making social enterprise look like a promising and attractive venture to any entrepreneur. With Group CEO of GGEC, Ms. Christina Lee saying the situation is improving and more and more businesses are paying more attention and rethinking their sustainable development which is a sister term to social enterprise.

Hong Kong’s Startup scene has been ever growing and with businesses being launched everyday, the question beckons … why does investing and developing sustainable practices make such an attractive venture for upcoming startups/ entrepreneurs? 

Although many think that sustainability comes at a large cost, it may come as a surprise to let you know it doesn’t. By designing a well-thought sustainability program, startups can increase profits and achieve greater savings, propelling growth and decreasing risk.

Renewable Resources (green energy)

With more and more renewable energy becoming available to the general public, renewable energy has begun to become cheaper than fossil fuels in countries such as Australia, Dubai, Chile, and Denmark. As a startup in Hong Kong, rest assured that it is only a matter of time before renewable energy arrives and saves you money.  

Saving Paper/ Going Paperless

You have most likely heard of this a lot throughout the years but in truth many big corporations have implemented rules to print double sided or go paperless, allowing them to save money on unneeded resources and with technology advancing everyday it will be most likely that everyone will go paperless in the near future.


Energy saving light bulbs have been around for a long time now, so long that LED light bulbs have been invented and improved to become go-to for energy saving lighting. Proven to be able to save 25 to 30 percent less energy and lasting 25 times longer than normal light bulbs provides evidence why it has.

Long Lifecycle Products/Furniture

With sustainable design becoming ever more present today, manufacturers are creating products with a long lifeline in mind. By purchasing these products you can support the initiative and companies who undertake these methods while saving you money long term for your business.

Listed are only some of the methods you can undertake to save money while becoming sustainable. While there are a lot more methods to become sustainable, like providing your employees the ability to work from home which in turn can save you money on utilities & boost your employee morale and work ethic. We have provided what you can easily do at the start to achieve a profitable sustainable business.

EXTRA: 6 Social & Sustainable Startups to Watch Out in 2017

Lulio believes that every teen deserves to like themselves and be happy with who they are. Their mission is to prevent the loss of bright futures due to depression, bullying, and suicide.
Lulio does this by creating mobile games for teens to improve their emotional awareness, build resiliency, and foster compassion for themselves and other people. They package their mobile games together with resources for teachers and schools, to create a student mental wellbeing program.
HK Recycles provides convenient and accountable recycling collection services for homes, businesses, and whole buildings.
By simplifying the collection process, they are able to provide job opportunities for people from marginalized backgrounds, while giving them a chance to further develop their career(s). HK Recycles has helped members reduce up to 80% of their disposed waste through recycling, while providing employment for numerous individuals.
Recipio is a retail technology startup providing digital receipt solution for retailers to engage customers. This app provides core features such as auto-categorization, spending analysis, e-membership. The whole after-sales process is streamlined, without the hassle of storing paper receipt. Retailers will also get to engage customers in this new digital channel. Data mining for cross retail data will be their focus in future.
So In So Good supports startups using technology to solve a social or environmental issue in Hong Kong through an incubation program and youth training in HK Science Park. So In So Good is part of #IMPACTNetwork, a global network of social & green incubators in 12 different countries.
d.light is a global leader in delivering affordable solar-powered solutions designed for the two billion people in the developing world without access to reliable energy. A social enterprise, d.light provides distributed solar energy solutions for households and small businesses that are transforming the way people all over the world use and pay for energy.
SOW Asia is a charitable foundation based in Hong Kong that supports enterprises intent on scaling their social and/or environmental impact through financial investments and their accelerator program, i2i. SOW Asia aims to be the trusted partner and investor of choice to social-impact organisations looking to scale their impact in Hong Kong and throughout Asia. They do this through their accelerator program and their investments in their portfolio companies.

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