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MBA students prove they mean business when it comes to raising money for charity

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Aspiring entrepreneurs from some of the top universities in Hong Kong demonstrated their business acumen and commitment to giving back to the community at the 5th Operation Santa Claus MBA Charity Challenge.

The five teams of MBA students – City Elves (City University of Hong Kong), HKUnited (the University of Hong Kong), Massive Bunch of Elves (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), #mUSTBeMERRY (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), and Ginger Heart (the University of Manchester, Manchester Business School, East Asia Centre) – met last Thursday for the final presentation night in the Causeway Bay office of LinkedIn Hong Kong.

The company co-sponsored the event with FringeBacker and Swire Properties.

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The contestants were tasked with creating business plans for fundraising activities and implementing them throughout a 50-day period from early November to the end of December.

Money raised from the interschool competition would support the 14 beneficiary organisations of Operation Santa Claus 2017, an annual charity campaign run by the South China Morning Post and RTHK.

The Ginger Heart team won the top fundraiser award by raising HK$100,800, while Massive Bunch of Elves and HKUnited were also commended in the “Best Santa in Community Contribution” category.

Ginger Heart raised money by arranging networking events in Lan Kwai Fong.

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Ginger Heart team leader Dennis Shi Kai-yin said most of the donations were given by local companies.

Fellow team member Olivia Fong Sin-wut said: “Getting company sponsorships was the key to our success.”

Another team member, Tina Macdonald, added: “It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to put into practice some of the things that we have learned on our MBA programme.”

Teammate Eric Zhang Xinmiao said the team got an idea of how charities worked through the activities.

The charity challenge raised HK$266,020 in total.

Online crowdsourcing partner FringeBacker offered teams taking part free access to its platform. Representing FringeBacker as a judge, vice-president Vivien Chan Yee-wan noted that these future business leaders were all good at making use of the website to raise money.

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“Nowadays there are a lot of creative ways to raise money for charity on the online platform,” she said.

Fellow judge Gary Liu, CEO of the South China Morning Post, said the event had provided an opportunity for the next generation of business leaders to understand the city.

“All of you guys gave so much of your time and energy. Those of you who have been in Hong Kong your entire life, hopefully you’ve got to see a slice of the city that you have never seen before,” he said.

“And those of you who are from somewhere else, hopefully you got experiences of all the good that Hong Kong has to offer to its citizens.”

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