Ten teams each consisting of four members each from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University business school’s program Generation. Next: Leadership Programme for The Future Leader of the 21st Century competed to develop sales channels for products made by deaf and disabled producers in Cambodia through the Hinrich Foundation’s Export Assistance Program Cambodia.

In February, a team of judges selected team three CHEERS as the winner of the competition.

Export-assistance-program-cambodia-Cheer for CHEERS

Pictured from left: Alex Boome (Program Director of Hinrich Foundation), Inka Liu , Sheree Ho, Draco Wu, Bonnie Chung on the Final Competition Day at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University on 12 February 2015.

Cheer for the winning team CHEERS! On February 12, 2015, it was our great honor to stand on the “Generation.Next” Award Ceremony as the champion team.

Four months of effort eventually paid off. It is wonderful to review what we have gone through during this journey.

On January 13, CHEERS participated in the charity bazzar in Discovery Bay held by Handmade Hong Kong. We planned to conduct offline sales there because the site was near Discovery Bay North Plaza and high-class residential districts helping guarantee the flow of customers.

Export-assistance-program-cambodia-Bazaar in Discovery Bay 13 Jan
Charity bazaar in Discovery Bay on 13 January

On that day, more than 100 booths were established to exhibit and promote diverse charitable products. To make our booth more outstanding, our teammate Sheere came up with the idea that we could attract our target customers (families with children) by giving out free colorful balloons with our paintings on it. And teammate Inka designed a logo for our team—CHEERS, to express a hearty and warm impression to all passers-by.

Export-assistance-program-cambodia-Inka, Sheere, _ Bonnie hand out balloons to children
Sheere, Bonnie and Inka are handing out balloons to children.

In practice, the idea worked amazingly well and successfully drew kids’ attention. Additionally, the cute, soft and colorful animal ornaments manufactured by disabled Cambodia artists also easily caught children’s eyes. It was a great fun to create a joyful atmosphere by “producing” balloons while promoting these charitable products.

Draco is blowing balloons hoppingly.

Besides simple see-and-pay transactions, our CHEERS group came up with additional ideas to add more value to our products. We set up profiles telling passers-by the Cambodian manufacturer’s stories and explained the business model helped Cambodia disabled artists by offering sustainable jobs instead of high-price charity bazaar and single-direction donation.

CHEERS prepared profiles of Cambodia producers.

As for online sales, WeChat really helped us a lot. We established a public platform on WeChat to continuously communicate our value and update our processes to potential customers. The WeChat platform contains multiple powerful social media functions, therefore we could produce articles and videos on it to present what CHEERS was, how we wanted to help Cambodian disabled artists and what our products were.

“WeChat Transfer”offers CHEERS a smart way to attract mainland customers.

Since WeChat is widely used by mainland China residents, payment transfer became a challenge to our online sale due to additional transferring fees. To reduce the price and attract more customers, we finally discovered that WeChat online Transfer function, which generates zero transferring fee as long as the customer binds a debit card with his/her WeChat account. Eventually, WeChat online sales proved to be a great success which contributes nearly 50 percent of our total revenue.

Forever friends, forever CHEERS.

After undergoing fierce competition with the other teams presenting our work on February 12, we finally became the winners. We would like to say thank you to all other participating teams and to the panel judges. This was an excellent opportunity to test our potential and apply our innovative ideas to real business implementation.

Most importantly, the four of us gained friendship that will last forever through this process through sharing, discussing, arguing, laughing and sticking to our dreams. We really appreciate that the Hinrich Foundation, Dale Carnegie Training and PolyU Faculty of Business all provided us this chance to transform everyone in CHEERS into a better future leader.

About the Author – Chung Hau Ying (Bonnie)

export-assistance-cambodia-Chung Hau Ying (Bonnie)

Chung Hau Ying (Bonnie) is currently an Accountancy student at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She previously studied in Community College of City University for 2 years, majoring in Accountancy.

With the experience in holding Chinese New Year Fair in January 2014, she believes she can demonstrate her ability in this CSR “sell-to-help” project competition and contribute to the charity work of Hinrich Foundation.

Her future goals are to grow universally in a variety of dimensions, to become a far better human being, to work very hard and exceed personal and professional goals in a professional setting.

About the Author – WU Yao (Draco)

export-assitance-cambodia-WU Yao (Draco)

He is a member of PolyU Hall Community Service Group and has voluntarily served in two primary schools for two months which brought him great opportunities to learn how to serve and help people. He is pursuing Bachelor of Business Administration (Hons) in Accountancy.

As an energetic and creative young man, he loves his team “Cheers~” and is willing to bring more innovative ideas and effective efforts to the team which print a brighter future for Cambodian disabled artisans.

About the Author – Liu Yunling (Inka)

export-assistance-cambodia-Liu Yunling Inka

Inka is a member of PolyU Hall Community Service Group and a tutor in Holy Carpenter Primary School every week as a volunteer. She is pursuing Bachelor of Business Administration (Hons) in Accounting and Finance.

Apart from charity, Inka has great interests in trying new things which allow her to explore the outer world as well as the inner world of herself. When she was selected to enter this project, she was more than happy and hoped that she can help promote these lovely handmade crafts made by the Cambodian artisans; and help create jobs for them to raise their living standards sustainably.

About the Author – Ho Pui See (Sheere)

export-assistance-cambodia-Ho Pui See (Sheere)

She has been an International Student Ambassador in PolyU for 2 years and has made friends from different backgrounds and cultures. She is pursuing Bachelor of Business Administration (Hons) in Accounting and Finance.

Apart from that, she is also the Manager of AIESEC, the world’s largest student organization, which aims at developing global leaders and world peace. She is currently leading a team for fundraising and sponsorship. Meanwhile, helping out more people in Cambodia and bring them a better future is the strongest motivation for her to participate in this project.