The Rooftop Republic was awarded the 2017 Outstanding Social Enterprise (Meritorious) Award and Innovative Social Enterprise Award by the Home Affairs Bureau and the Social Enterprise Advisory Committee.
Andrew Tsui is a social entrepreneur with a mission of integrating urban farming into our city life. His motivation to explore social entrepreneurship was further developed in the CUHK EMBA programme. Prior to joining the programme, he found a strong urge within himself to seek clarity and consolidation of mind and heart before taking on new roles and responsibilities. While researching the various prestigious EMBA programmes, Andrew found that The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) offered a programme with an inherent advantage: it was uniquely rooted in Asian values supported by a global perspective. This is a great fit for someone envisioning a blueprint to grow a venture based in Hong Kong and bringing it to the world one day.
Andrew acknowledges that the theories and frameworks he learned through the programme put him in good stead. “To lead a social enterprise, we have to grasp our society’s underlying needs today and in the future. The key is then building a viable business model. The skills and knowledge that I picked up from the programme prove to be beneficial not only for me but also for my team as we work together in putting these learnings into practice.”
Coming out of the EMBA Programme, Andrew set up Rooftop Republic. The network he built during his EMBA studies enabled him to take a bigger leap. “As we were building the business model, I took the opportunity to share my idea with my EMBA classmates. After graduation, a group of my classmates set up a private fund for investments. The board performed due diligence, evaluated the social impact and financial projections of our social startup and we managed to secure a seed funding,” reported Andrew with great delight.
Andrew is grateful for having learnt the importance of understanding “market needs” in the EMBA course. “Increasingly people want to enjoy green spaces that can be used to grow some produce in our city environment. Once these spaces are available, our team at Rooftop Republic offers to manage it with local farmers and trained urban farming assistants. The team also designs innovative programmes to engage the relevant stakeholders on the future of food and green living. It is by these efforts that a more inclusive community and sustainable habits can be built over the long run.” His social enterprise business is just about doing that.