Social enterprise & Social Innovation Impact
Companies at 21st century do not only look for profit maximization, they will take environmental sustainability and social impact into account as their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Using Starbucks as an example, they use Fair Trade coffee beans, which ensures the farmers who worked hard to grow the beans to get a fair share of the profit generated from the beans. This can liberate them from exploitation or even help them to improve their life standards. Some other corporates will use organic or environmentally safe materials, making the whole production process more eco-friendly and sustainable.
Now some business took steps beyond CSR, incorporating social impact into their profit model, even innovate new ideas to help ease social problems. The products or services of these business carry different social values. This form of the value can be empowering underprivileged groups, educating the public, etc. These new business is called Social Enterprise (SE).
Hong Kong, as a vibrant city, has different kinds of SEs, mostly operating in the form of startups. Coworking space is like an incubator for startups, providing knowledge, network and practical resources. Co-working space is really different from the traditional office.
When Hong Kongers think about work, the image that came up in their mind is going into crowded MTR train, desk separated by partitions in the office, and the boss that hides inside his room. But is it the only atmosphere that workspace can bring to you?
Coworking space is different from ordinary Hong Kong’ office. It values connection and communication between people rather than just privacy. Space allows people to sit freely, get closer and be more open to each other. It allows people to communicate whenever something is up, during free time you are also able to chat with them. This culture builds up people relationship and breaks down the barriers, efficiency is also facilitated by the ease to communicate.
The idea of coworking space was invented by Brad Neuberg, a Google software engineer. He set up a coworking space named Hat factory in San Francisco, USA, using his garage to rent it to a worker in the IT industry. It is the first business coworking space. The idea of coworking space has spread out to the world since then. There has been more than 700 coworking spaces in America.
Hong Kong has followed this trend as well and developed coworking space. Dream impact is one of them. Different coworking spaces have different experience or atmosphere. Dream impact has created a community formed by social startups, space for them to grow and share ideas for society. We assemble a group of social-minded entrepreneurs and provide them with working space and event space, nurture their dreams and create a collective impact on society.
The Dream Impact experience
“The community creates an active and vibrant atmosphere.” By EFG – Resident Partners of Dream Impact
Further, working with people that share the same vision and enthusiasm makes working more like pursuing one’s own goals or dreams, Coworkers are like partners as well. Being in a coworking space has more chances to know new people and get into new things, it would be great for widening one’s vision and reaching out. On the other hand, a more spacious area is also an advantage for startups.
Dream impact’s coworking space shares space as well as resources, for example, books, stationery, photo shooting equipments etc. Apart from physical assets, knowledge and network are also shareable, it also creates an advantage for social startups.
“I think people here have a welcoming culture, maybe it’s because everyone wants to create social impact on society”
Working in a coworking space with partners who share the same vision and passion have much more in common. Apart from sharing materials, you can chat with people who have similar passion with you and be part of a community that excited about creating emergence properties for social startups.
A community always has a greater force and more possibilities than an individual.