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The EOC Announces Research Findings of Two Funded Research Projects on Ethnic Minorities

07/07/2015

The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) announced today (7 July 2015) the results of two funded projects under the Funding Programme of Research Projects on Equal Opportunities 2013/14, namely “Empowerment through Business: South Asian Entrepreneurship in Hong Kong” and “Breaking through the barriers – Ethnic minority success stories and their implications for policy intervention in Hong Kong”. The findings suggest that ethnic minorities (EM) face struggles to secure their identities and success in the Hong Kong society.

Research Project: Empowerment through Business: South Asian Entrepreneurship in Hong Kong

The study covered 22 face-to-face interviews with individual Pakistani and Nepalese petit entrepreneurs, 8 key informant interviews with non-governmental organization (NGO) workers and community leaders, 42 hours of field investigation, and 1 focus group discussion with NGO workers.

The study reveals that the business trajectories of South Asian entrepreneurs are divergent, ranging from successful to survival operations, and empowering experiences to disempowering ones. The researcher of this study, Dr. Kim KWOK, said, “The findings suggest that business experiences and outcomes are contingent upon a variety of factors including structural context and personal class resources, not merely dependent on ethno-cultural group resources,”

“We strongly support social integration of ethnic minorities in Hong Kong through petit entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Ferrick CHU, Head of Policy, Research and Training Division at the EOC. “Some supportive measures should be formulated by relevant stakeholders in order to make these petit entrepreneurs sustainable. For example, they are able to access formal sources of financing as well as be provided with business advice, support and training. In fact, it is a win-win situation that multicultural neighborhoods could offer valuable resources of local and international tourism.”

Research Project: Breaking through the barriers – Ethnic minority success stories and their implications for policy intervention in Hong Kong

The study covered interviews with nine South / Southeast Asians, who shared their success stories of socially integrating into the local community. They have attained certain academic achievement and most of them pick up professional or managerial jobs. Further analysis shows that personal attributes (viz. perseverance, determination) and social network are key factors to success.

“The EOC has stepped up its efforts in promoting equal opportunities for ethnic minorities by establishing a dedicated Task Force, which focuses on public education programmes, frequent liaison and outreach activities targeting the ethnic minority communities to promote employment and educational opportunities,” highlighted Dr. Chu. “Increasing the visibility of ethnic minority role models and their successful stories in the mass media could help inspire the younger generation of minorities to dream and strive for success in future.”

On the institutional level, the ethnic minorities can also be empowered through mentorship programmes in the community. “We definitely do not want to see future generations of our ethnic minority communities to continue to feel marginalised as well as to face other hurdles to equal opportunities. To redress the problem, our Government should have a holistic approach in formulating policies and measures for the empowerment of our ethnic minority community.” added Dr. Chu.

Please click here to view the research reports.
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Equal Opportunities Commission
7 July 2015

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