Annual contest provides platform for business students to put theory into practice

by Grace Chan

News every month from the world of academia

Business administration paper competition boosts cooperation between different sectors in Hong Kong
Photo: Wallace Chan

Competition broadens business horizons. An annual inter-university business plan writing competition, the Business Administration Paper (BA Paper), aims to keep business students abreast of changes in the business world, providing them with an opportunity to exchange ideas.

More than 280 teams are participating in this year's competition, which is organised by the Hong Kong Federation of Business Students (HKFBS), an association of more than 10,000 business students from eight universities in Hong Kong.

To expand the competition's business horizons, students from universities in Beijing, Shanghai, Macau and Taiwan have also been invited to participate this year. The competition is linked to a prominent current issue in the business world. This year, the theme is "Tripartite Partnership for Corporate Competitiveness". Assuming the role of a group of business consultants, participating teams are asked to draft a financially sound business proposal involving the cooperation of three parties — a government department, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and an existing company or new business. They must then advise the trio to develop a viable business plan with novel business ideas that can benefit the society.

NGOs can help to create harmony in a free economy such as Hong Kong. At the same time, it is important that the government draws up rules to ensure equal opportunities and healthy competition between NGOs and business enterprises, said York Chow, secretary, Food and Health Bureau, at the KPMG BA Paper 2008 Opening Ceremony.

Dr Chow advised participants to draw up their proposals with clear objectives and achievable long-term targets.

Law Chi Kwong, vice chairperson, the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), addressed the increasing prominence of corporate social responsibility issues within the business world. "Both NGOs and the business sector play an important role in promoting caring company schemes and assisting the development of social enterprises," he elaborated. "The government is in a position to implement social welfare policies to help improve communities."

The winning team will earn an internship programme with KPMG, the title sponsor of the competition. With an ultimate aim of grooming future business leaders, the competition provides the company with an opportunity to learn from the students' innovative ideas, pointed out Melissa Wu, partner in charge, human resources, KPMG Hong Kong. Ms Wu added that KPMG is involved in various activities to promote corporate social responsibility internally, enhancing the company's appeal as a desirable workplace.

The winning team will be selected by the end of February next year.

Taken from Career Times 21 November 2008, p. A13
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