The Awardee of 2017 Hong Kong Humanity Award - Mr Howard Ling ho-wan
Driving social enterprise development
When Mr Howard Ling ho-wan was in business, he noticed how some employees failed to appreciate the work opportunities they were given. Ironically, many from the disadvantaged groups were denied a job even though they looked forward eagerly to be employed. So, he tried to employ some physically or mentally disabled through a number of non-profit organizations and provided them with the relevant training. Having run social enterprises for ten years, Howard believes that employees with disabilities treasure their jobs and are fully devoted to their work, so they should be offered the same remuneration as other employees in general.
In 2006, Howard opened a social enterprise vegetarian restaurant and two years later, was appointed chief consultant of “Social Enterprise Business Centre”, to help facilitate the developments of social enterprises. Since then, he has been invited to be a volunteer consultant for many schools, companies, charity groups and government organizations, helping them to set up social enterprises.
Gathering support from business sector
Since 2010 onwards, Howard has been a consultant to many social enterprises. In addition to the funding channels for business startup and expansion, he also offering the social enterprise a wide range of solutions in terms of planning, execution, accounting, human resources and sustained developments. He has helped many non-profit organizations to set up more than 30 social enterprises, which employ over hundreds of the disabled people, including those of visual and hearing impairments, physical handicaps, and autism.
Howard has shared his insights in running the social enterprise on different occasions, including seminars, and media interviews, which allow the public to learn more about the abilities of disabled people in the workplace and encourage more enterprise to employ people with disabilities.
Howard hopes that the business sector could devote more time and care to the society. In 2010, he initiated a voluntary project called “Social Angel” with support from the “Social Enterprise Business Centre” and invited around 100 business executives to provide voluntary consultancy service to social enterprises.