Konica Minolta Business Solutions (HK) Ltd.: Pioneering Corporate Social Entrepreneurship
Konica Minolta Business Solutions (HK) Ltd. was likely the first multinational corporation in Hong Kong to put the ideas of corporate social enterprising into practice. Its new service business that was launched in 2014 (the i-Transform Station) employed so-called "hidden youths"-disadvantaged individuals who refrained from joining mainstream society-empowering them to reconnect with society. While the initiative drew the attention of the company's headquarters in Japan, the company experienced difficulties attracting enough hidden youths for its growing i-Transform Station, despite actively seeking the help of social workers in identifying potential employees. The managing director who initiated the program wanted to increase the engagement of hidden youth and, more importantly, to inject the ideas of social enterprise and the creation of shared value into Hong Kong society. In 2018, having received some suggestions from social workers and others, the managing director reflected on alternative options for the program's future. Kevin Au is affiliated with Chinese University of Hong Kong.