Supported by Hinrich Foundation and The Faculty of Business of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Team 8, SAEDI, has set out searching for ways to sustainably provide jobs for poor and disabled Cambodian artisans.

SAEDI is not only the reversing of IDEAS, but also believes that you and I can help create infinite possibilities not limited to increasing their employment and enhancing their quality of life.

And these possibilities create for them a future of hope.

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We start a new year with support from more and more people!

We start a new year with support from more and more people!

Two questions and the birth of a team – by Xie Tong (Kayla)

Soon after the briefing, we conducted our first discussion.

Criscilia, one of our teammates, brought forward an interesting question that requires deep thought: why would the customers feel the need to buy the products and help the Cambodian artisans? How could we create empathy between Hong Kong people and Cambodian people?

To answer the question, we four (majoring in economics, marketing and psychology) concluded that helping them will benefit us as well. You cannot imagine the “Aha!” excitement we felt at that time because for so long we have been told that helping others is helping ourselves but few of us understood it through reasoning.

At that moment, I was so grateful that I was given the opportunity to view charity from a brand-new perspective and thereby developed higher appreciation of social responsibility.

But as the discussion went on, we started asking ourselves how to differentiate ourselves from other people doing charity. After searching information of some charitable organizations such as the Hinrich Foundation and combing our ideas together, we decided to emphasize customer experience—turning customers into sellers who will promote our belief to others.

First and second coaching session– It is all about happiness – by Tong Wei Qi (Azural) and Tang Yan Yee (Criscilia)

During the first coaching session, the coach suggested that we needed to have a plan B. It is possible that our plan could not be carried out smoothly. We need to think “What if?” If the PMQ shopping area would not permit our collaboration, what should we do? We thought that an online platform may be a good choice.

Apart from that, she told us that, the most important thing was not the money we could finally earn; it was the story, the journey and the difficulties we would encounter and what we went through during the whole business. This impressed me deeply.

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Picture from left: Xie Tong (Kayla), Tong Wei Qi (Azural) on 18 Nov., 2014, the first coaching session.

In the second coaching, we were touched by a special sentence. During the competition, our group always struggled around one question, which is, “Why do customers buy our products instead of others?” However, we forgot one simplest but most important point is that doing charity is “all about happiness”.

For one thing, Cambodian artisans will be happy because they are able to improve their living standards with better sale which enhances their employment rate and helps them receive more education. Moreover, in the perspective of customers, they will also be happy when they see that the disabled Cambodian artisans are happy. Indeed, happiness is very simple.

Thanks to the opportunity given to us by the Hinrich Foundation, we have deeper understanding that doing business is not all about making money, but should also make people happy and make contributions to the society. Our group participated in this project because we deeply share this value and believe that happiness can be motivation power to make this business sustainable. After all, it is all about happiness.

Thanksgiving sale – by Yang Yi (Ethan) and Xie Tong (Kayla)

Although our team is formed randomly with people from different fields, years and backgrounds, we have been working together in a pleasant way. At the preparation stage, we have shared our tasks, but also understood our personal timetable that has conflicts with our work, which enabled us to allocate the most suitable tasks to each of us.

We have been sharing our progresses online frequently, ensuring that our information exchange channels are open, as well as motivating each other when managing busy schedules. It has been a wonderful journey since we started to maintain this frequent communication. We even say goodnight to each other.

To make deeper impression and further promote our products, we combined it with studies. With final exams and deadlines around, we attached new meanings to our products. Therefore we witnessed the birth of “A plus horse” and “Deadline deer”. Our team is an endless source of innovation.

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Our creativity of more than reversing IDEAS: A plus horse and deadline deer

For me, this is not my first time selling, but it is the most memorable one beyond doubt. A handsome boy from Ukraine donated to us, refusing to receive any souvenir in return. I saw fellow students, who lived in Hung Hom hall, walking 20 minutes to Homantin hall only to buy a product. They all left with happiness.

I never knew that small handmade products could bring such satisfaction and joy to the people around us. Then we realized that the products in their hands not only contained their loving care for Cambodia artists, but also sent the message “Hey, you can change something too.”

As a photographer, I have seen many smiles in front of the camera, but not too often have I seen many genuine and natural ones. On the night I was a photographer of our team during our Thanksgiving sale, not only did I seen numerous smiles, but I also captured the sincere happiness of them as well.

When our buyers were holding the board with phrases or sentences bearing their wishes to the Cambodian artisans on Thanksgiving Day while smiling blissfully, I felt that they felt the same as me—caring about disabled and poor Cambodian artisans. There was a connection that linked the buyers and sellers and Cambodian artisans all together.

We had been worrying whether the free photo-taking section of the sale would indeed engage buyers in the sell-to-help project and thus persuade our customers to recognize that “helping others is helping ourselves.”

Until that blessed night, I realized that involving the buyers in the sale and transforming them into potential sellers in the future could make our goals come true.

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We start a new year with support from more and more people!

About the author – Xie Tong (Kayla)

Team Eight – SAEDI: It is all about happiness 1

Xie Tong (Kayla) believes in the power of passing on and would like to spread this power to everyone around her. She believes that sell-to-help project awakens our capability to love and influence others through this love. Join her team and be one that can change something!

About the Author – Yang Yi (Ethan)

Team Eight – SAEDI: It is all about happiness 2

Yang Yi (Ethan) wants to be an investigator in the financial fields. He regards leadership as an increasingly important quality in the today’s society.

About the Author – Tong Wei Qi (Azural)

Team Eight – SAEDI: It is all about happiness 3

Tong Wei Qi (Azural) wants to be a banker for helping poor people. He also has passion for music and dreams to be a musician.

About the Author – Tang Yan Yee (Criscilia)

Team Eight – SAEDI: It is all about happiness 4

Tang Yan Yee (Criscilia) loves taking challenges and seizes every learning opportunity because she believes that there is always room for self improvement both personally and professionally. She hopes that she can keep contributing to society and help people in need after graduation because she deeply believes that business is not only about making money, but also taking care of the society and the world.