Pillar of Society
The Yeh family is redefining charity through an education programme that provides new talent for ventures creating positive change in the community, writes Rik Glauert
magine the educational value for business students if they were able to escape their institutional bubble to feel the excitement and pain of developing a real organisation. And what if the vehicles for their escape were enterprises whose goals were to provide lasting benefits to the community?
The powerful potential of such a symbiotic relationship is at the heart of an innovative course at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), conceived with the Yeh Family Philanthropy (YFP), the charitable arm of the eminent Hong Kong dynasty. Called Nurturing Social Minds, it provides a hands-on action-learning experience for students—and a HK$250,000 investment by YFP in the enterprise whose students make the most compelling case.
Social problems such as hunger and inequality need to be approached as if they are business challenges, YFP chairwoman Yvette Yeh says in explaining the thinking behind the HKUST programme. The application of innovation, creative thinking and business acumen to such problems, with the goal of providing sustainable benefits