The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) manages the Social Enterprise Directory (SE Directory) to connect local social enterprises (SEs) with customers and promote their products and services to a wider audience. As of April 2023, the directory listed 713 SE units run by 381 organisations. Of these, 149 were charitable organisation exempt from tax under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance, about 40% of the total.
Regarding the industrial distribution of SE units*, the top three categories are Education and Training (187 units), Lifestyle (181 units) and Health Care and Fitness (179 units). The most important social issues that these SE units aim to tackle are Work Integration and Social Inclusion.
Among some 30 newly listed SE units last year, the most common operational obstacles* are ‘high rental cost’ and ‘high production cost’, followed by ‘lacking of business financing channel’. The owners of these SEs believed that ‘expanding business financing channels’, ‘enhancing public education’, and ‘encouraging organisations and corporations to adopt responsible procurement policies’ are the most helpful measures* for sustaining their businesses.
The Caring Company Scheme initiated by the HKCSS has been encouraging companies and organisations to realise one of the good practices in corporate social responsibility by purchasing products and services from SEs. In 2022/23, around 4,900 purchases were made and the amount involved over HK$7.8 million.
*Some SE units may belong to more than one industry or selected more than one operational obstacle or helpful measure.