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The State of Shared Value in Hong Kong

In November 2017, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region commissioned a report from FSG on the “Awareness and adoption of Shared Value in Hong Kong”.

With the assistance of the HK Council of Social Services, the HK General Chamber of Commerce and the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund [SIE Fund], FSG surveyed 174 companies representing a well-distributed range of industries. The objective was to map companies along the Shared Value journey using a framework to explain the different stages that companies go through on a multi-year journey – from understanding the concept, to capturing the first Shared Value opportunities, to fully integrating the Shared Value approach into strategy.

Considerable misunderstanding about how creating Shared Value differs from philanthropy and traditional corporate social responsibility

The survey results showed that the majority of survey respondents are either not implementing Shared Value or are in the very early stages of their journey. There was considerable misunderstanding about how Shared Value differs from philanthropy and traditional CSR. The tasks of educating and articulating the relevance are considerable. Most importantly, in order to create Shared Value, a business should be able to demonstrate concretely and specifically how both business and society will benefit with clear achievable targets and, eventually, measurable results. Furthermore, only if the model is strategically embraced can business innovation unlock business value by addressing significant social issues or meeting unmet social needs. This is why competitive advantage can be gained – because there is a significant barrier to entry: mindset.

A clear need for greater advocacy and a CEO peer-to-peer exchange platform

We incorporated Shared Value Project Hong Kong (SVPHK) at the end of November 2017 and recruited our initial eight Founding Corporate Members and advisory panel.  With the SIE Fund’s encouragement, SVPHK engages leading companies around local and international best practice, provides ongoing support to those driving internal change and social innovation, and offers a platform for collaboration and collective actions.

In the summer of 2018, our members voted to address the poor state of mental health in Hong Kong as our first initiative. SVPHK compiled research and facilitated the vision setting. Members then scoped the project, and, in support, we delivered Ideation and Business Case Development workshops. Having helped our members synthesize the opportunities, we continue to support them as they learn through practice.

Our advocacy continues to build.  We have built up a network of local affiliates, organized panel discussions, judged hackathons, and participated in a number of strategic roundtables and fireside chats.  We have been fortunate with the number of useful conferences and conventions in Hong Kong where we can introduce ourselves. We are also building our social media presence. With the right channels in place, we now need to ensure we fill them with thought leadership. This is where our global network comes to the fore.

International network can highlight global best practice, provide useful introductions and help overcome challenges

In early May 2018, the Shared Value regional partners convened in New York following the Shared Value Leadership Summit. It was great connecting with fellow champions for the cause. With regular contact, our international network can highlight global best practice, provide useful introductions and help overcome challenges. The Shared Value Project Hong Kong may be in its infancy, but alongside our more established peers we support the Shared Value Africa Initiative and wish you every success as you also build and strengthen your community.

Article courtesy of the Shared Value Project Hong Kong.