Competing and Thriving

30 June 2023

I came to study in Hong Kong as an exchange student in 2021, and could not do much during my first academic year because of the COVID-19 restrictions.  I thus wanted to start a social project to gain more experience, meet people, and help the community.  I was also getting more familiar with the city and wanted to spend my second year doing something new!  When I learnt about the Law for Change Student Competition 2022, I considered it the perfect opportunity to seize!

The Competition was one of the highlights of my Hong Kong experience.  Indeed, it taught me a lot, yet was also a lot of fun!  I met amazing people from different backgrounds that all had something in common: the desire and passion to help the community.  They all motivated me to work hard with my teammates to start an ambitious project from scratch.

Our idea was to create a platform connecting eco-conscious consumers with eco-friendly Food & Beverage businesses.  This would allow consumers to “vote with their dollars” by easily finding small Food & Beverage businesses near them that act for the planet.  Consequently, it would become a strong incentive for local F&B businesses to adopt greener measures to attract those customers.

Later, we convinced the judges of the competition and obtained a grant to prototype our project.  With our ambitious project goal, we encountered some operational difficulties, including recruiting project partners.  We spent a lot of time and efforts to try to overcome them, but also lost precious time.  It was a competition after all, and our progress was slower compared to other teams.  Only three teams could obtain the final grant.

Nevertheless, I am immensely proud of what our team achieved and learnt during this period!  We learnt so much on, inter alia, environmental laws in Hong Kong, running a project from A to Z, business operations in the city… Moreover, we now understand the areas that we could have improved from time management, team collaboration to idea implementation, this being very useful for our future endeavours.  I would thus like to thank everyone that supported us along the way, and allowed us to thrive.

Last but not the least, congratulations to the winning teams, and I wish them all the best. (I am sure they will do great!)

Justin Horchler (Exchange Student with Hong Kong Baptist University)
Member of Shortlisted Team, Law for Change Student Competition 2022

Justin and his teammates pitching their project
Justin and his teammates pitching their project

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