14 Mar 2022

ESF students launch startup to promote diversity, equality, and inclusion in schools.

I am very excited to share a project that a group of Sha Tin College students has been working on since the start of the academic year. iden is a social enterprise that aims to promote the values of diversity, equality, and inclusion in schools.

The team of students is representing Sha Tin College for the 2021-2022 Junior Achievement Company Programme, the largest entrepreneurship competition for secondary students in Hong Kong.

Their business inspiration stemmed from changes in the school environment, which made the subject of LGBTQ+ inclusion increasingly salient. After initial market research, they discovered a lack of teaching and learning materials available to support pastoral teachers on the topics of gender, identity, and sexuality in the RSE curriculum. From this, they decided to create a range of products that aim to provide engaging educational materials for teachers and students to use in classrooms. After several months of hard work, they have now launched their product line which includes:

  • LGBTQ+ Discussion Cards that provide thoughtful, situational, and lighthearted prompts. The prompts draw upon a diverse range of experiences and are designed to encourage open and thoughtful discussions that aim to promote empathy.
  • LGBTQ+ Trivia Cards allows students to learn about significant historical watersheds, a diverse range of famous icons, and the most common flags in the LGBTQ+ community.
  • A set of educational posters which 1) outlines the differences between sex, gender, and sexuality and 2) features a variety of colourful flags in the LGBTQ+ community. The posters are perfect for classrooms displays, school corridors, and other common areas.

As the business advisor and activity supervisor, I have been highly impressed by the level of creativity, maturity, and problem-solving skills demonstrated by the students over the past six months. Starting and running a business is no easy task and it has definitely provided an authentic opportunity for the students to develop a range of skills and gain work experience in a real-world setting. To be the best they can be.

Anneka Leung (Year 12) shares her experience as the Creative Director for iden:

“Despite having experience in design thinking and the design process, it was extremely rewarding to have my designs brought to full fruition and to the market. As iden’s Creative Director, I fully enjoyed leading and working with an interdisciplinary group of designers. I learned a plethora of new skills from each member of the design team and was constantly inspired by their amazing work ethic and creative ideas. In a more personal sense, as someone part of the LGBTQ+ community, I enjoyed having a creative outlet to bring forward ideas that would raise awareness on LGBTQ+ issues. The JA Company Programme gave me an opportunity to meet others who identify as being part of the community, which gave me an insight into the variety of individual LGBTQ+ experiences. I also enjoyed the process of researching and gaining more knowledge regarding LGBTQ+ terminology and historical events.”

If you would like to request a free sample of the products or would like to inquire about pricing and orders, please email Sales and Marketing Director, Emily XIA (Year 12) at xiae1@stconline.edu.hk.

It would be much appreciated if our colleagues could share iden’s amazing work with any relevant parties such as PSE/RSE coordinators at their respective schools. #DEI #entrepreneurship #shatincollege

iden members include:

  • Vivian Helau (Year 12) – CEO
  • Anneka Leung (Year 12) – Creative Director
  • Michelle Geng (Year 12) – Operations Director
  • Emily Xia (Year 12) – Sales and Marketing Director
  • Lauren HO (Year 12) – Human Resources Director
  • Kristie Chan (Year 12) – Finance Director
  • Mr. John Lee – Business Advisor and Link Teacher

Thank you!