A forum focused on how creating shared value delivers competitive advantage by helping business and the community “flourish together” has brought together over 200 business leaders in Hong Kong.
The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund) organised the “Shared Value: Creating Competitive Advantage” Forum on 21 September 2017. It brought together local and international business, government and civil society came together to discuss the development of business strategy that helps companies find new opportunities and refine their competitive edge while creating value for society.
This year’s Forum, the second to be held in Hong Kong after the inaugural event in 2015, provided a space for leaders to continue the global dialogue about Creating Shared Value (CSV), a concept which has continued to gain momentum across the business landscape. A major topic of discussion was on how the key to CSV lies in innovation – innovation not only in the form of technology, but also the courage to deviate from conventions and a can-do spirit towards problem solving.
Officiating at the Forum, Dr Bernard Chan, Acting Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development, The Government of the HKSAR said: “The idea of Creating Shared Value is not new. While the Harvard Business School Professors Michael Porter and Mark Kramer were the first to coin the term and to give vigour to the concept, the challenges of competition and concerns about the inequalities and tensions of the modern world have led a number of companies innovating in the way they operate.”
Mr Rashid Aleem Qureshi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé Greater China, was one of the keynote speakers at the Forum. According to him, CSV is a fundamental principle guiding how Nestlé does business as in all its operations the company seeks to create value for shareholders and for society to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future.
Professor Mark Kramer, Co-founder and Managing Director of FSG and the thought leader of the CSV concept, was another keynote speaker. In his presentation, he outlined how CSV allowed companies to gain a unique competitive position by differentiating itself from its competitors, delivering products with social benefits and creating value that did not exist before.
The Forum is the second of four stages of activities initiated by the SIE Fund in 2017-18 to promote CSV among local businesses as a sustainable approach to corporate practice and help alleviate Hong Kong’s socioeconomic challenges.
Mr Kim Salkeld, Secretary-General of the SIE Fund Task Force Secretariat, said: “The aim of the SIE Fund is to nurture the development of innovation to address social needs in Hong Kong by supporting cross-sector collaboration and capacity building. Given Hong Kong’s position as an international commercial and financial centre, active engagement of the business sector is indispensable. CSV is a means for the business sector and the community to flourish together.”