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Social Entrepreneur - Sunny Cheung In a fast-paced city, computers are indispensable to our work and learning. Unfortunately, some persons with disabilities encounter difficulties in using a keyboard and a mouse due to limited muscle control and coordination. Sunny, a cerebral palsy patient, is only capable of typing with one finger since his physical mobility is one-fifth of that of other people. Admitted to university, he realised that his typing speed lagged behind others, which greatly impacted his time management in examinations. To overcome this obstacle, he developed a software programme - CP2Joy by combining a joystick and a voice recognition tool. With this programme, he could give vocal commands to control the computer by sounding the 5 vowels ‘a’, ‘e’, ‘i’, ‘o’ and ‘u’. Sunny hopes that the design would benefit disabled persons by facilitating their learning and exploration of the Internet world while boosting their productivity. Persons with disabilities use vocal commands to explore the Internet, crossing the digital chasm. Innovative Venture - CP2Joy System The innovative venture mentioned above is funded by the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund and assisted and supported by the Fund’s intermediaries in project implementation. The details of the innovative venture are as follows: Service nature: Education and Learning Beneficiary group: Persons with Disability Project type: Prototype Intermediary Programme: Impact Incubator The upcoming Education and Learning story will introduce a social entrepreneur who “rolls out” knowledge with his innovative Rolling Books, stay tuned! What is Social Entrepreneur Series? Stories of how other social entrepreneurs aspired to start their own business might facilitate your social innovation and entrepreneurship exploration. A series of social entrepreneur stories will be featured and categorised into six sub-series: Education and Learning, Job Training and Opportunities, Community Participation, Healthcare, Diet and Transport. What you are going to read are stories of social entrepreneurs taking forward the startup projects that help themselves and others.
When it comes to startup, people always think of running a business for money. To become an entrepreneur, you may take some time to observe the diverse needs of the society before you unleash your creativity and help the underprivileged persons by starting your own business through social innovation. If you are interested in learning more about social innovation, or you already have in mind some innovative ideas for your business, the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund) under the Commission on Poverty could definitely help. Here we have a few fun facts about social innovation and the SIE Fund that facilitate an easy understanding, please read on! Social innovation = Social enterprise? Social Innovation aims to address social needs by improving knowledge, products, or services. Social innovation does not limit to social enterprises but open to all, including individuals, organisations and corporations. Poverty alleviation = Cash handout ? Not necessarily! Innovations can help alleviate poverty. The SIE Fund addresses poverty and social exclusion by funding innovative solutions that serve the needs of society. Mostly through intermediaries, the Fund provides visionary individuals and organisations with diverse resources in support of research, capacity building and the entire life cycle of innovative ventures. Cross-sector collaboration The SIE Fund values cross-sector collaboration. Collaborative platforms engaging different sectors including the public, businesses, the government and academics have been set up to address respective social needs. Examples of these platforms are the FOOD-CO Food Support Collaborative Platform, Community Housing Movement, etc. 180 000 beneficiaries As of December 2019, about 180 000 people were benefitted from the Fund’s funded projects. Beneficiary groups include persons with disabilities, children and youth, low-income families, ethnic minorities and the elderly, etc. 1 400 innovative ideas As of December 2019, the SIE Fund has nurtured more than 4 100 social entrepreneurs and incubated around 1 400 innovative ideas. Social innovation one man band Individuals can apply for funding under the Innovative Programmes administered by the Fund’s intermediaries. As of December 2019, the number of individual applicants among all funded projects is more than that of charitable institutions. It is always hard to take the first step, but you will never walk alone on your social entrepreneurial journey. Apart from the SIE Fund which have just been introduced, we will soon be sharing a series of stories about how social entrepreneurs brought massive changes to the society with simple ideas. Stay tuned with us! You are welcome to contact the intermediaries of SIE Fund and share with them your innovative ideas!