Lunar New Year Fair is a key feature of Chinese New Year celebrations in Hong Kong.
The fair has both traditional flower stalls as well as pop-up stalls for various crafts and goods. It has in recent years also become a popular venue for young students to test their business talent.
The fair was recommended by the JA Company Program more than a decade ago. This year, a total of 90 schools have participated in the program.
Typically, a group of 15 to 20 students would form a real company and raise funds from their parents or other students. They can then use those proceeds to design and produce crafts and goods that they can sell at the fair.
Some students have opted for purchasing goods from Taobao, though I always hope students can take the opportunity to use their creativity to produce merchandise of their own.
Thanks to the software support from Shopline, students will be able to open an online shop along with the physical stall.
In addition to selling goods at the fair, students would have a chance to hone their e-vending skills through social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and get familiar with important tools like mobile payment
Given the short time period and the huge customer traffic, Lunar New Year Fair is an ideal opportunity for students to try running a real business.
Young entrepreneurs would experience challenges such as rental cost pressure and constraints in physical shop areas and operation time.
The online shop option will also train their cyber-marketing skills, like how to sell more products with the help of key opinion leaders (KOL) or YouTube videos.
Such learning-from-practice approach has already been added to college entrepreneurship course.
Students will be rated according to their business operation efficiency, product creativity and customer satisfaction.
The youngsters can learn various things including capital management, stock and supply chain, product pricing and sales strategy from these exercises. Also, they can learn to work as a team and respect different views of others.
It is through such exposure that entrepreneurship would be gradually nurtured, I believe. After all, books and teachers have their limits.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb 9
Translation by Julie Zhu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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