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Women Entrepreneurs: This CUHK MBA Is Tapping Into Social Entrepreneurship In Hong Kong

Lynn Ding is a successful entrepreneur with a social conscience. The Applied Entrepreneurship course on the CUHK Business School MBA has given her the tools to take her career forward


By  Robert Klecha

Fri May 25 2018

When Lynn Ding sold the majority of her shares of her food startup to an HKEX listed company, she wanted to prepare for the next phase of her career.

Exploring social entrepreneurship was a key ambition, so she set her sights on the MBA program at CUHK Business School. CUHK has the longest running MBA program in Asia, with strong regional and global connections. It also offers a specialized entrepreneurship track.

In particular, Lynn was keen on the Applied Entrepreneurship—Remodeling and Fundraising in Asia course. This module places MBA students with real global ventures, and prepares them to deliver pitches to groups of senior executives, angel investors and venture capitalists, as well as other private equity investors.

During her time on the CUHK MBA, Lynn encountered social entrepreneurship and the power of startups to better society. Through CUHK’s Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investment Project, she took up a placement at a company which trains those with disabilities to work.

After graduating, Lynn landed an assistant manager role with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, a startup hub whose goal is to transform Hong Kong into the regional hub for innovation and technological development.

Lynn’s determined that her next startup project will be one focused on social impact.

How have you benefited from the CUHK MBA?

We always talk about entrepreneurial spirit, but without hands-on training and immersive learning it doesn’t have any real meaning. CUHK is famous for its entrepreneurship concentration. Its applied entrepreneurship course, where you work with founders of real companies, is really cool! As far as I know, no other MBA school in Asia provides this kind of course.

During the work on the CUHK entrepreneurship courses, each MBA student is faced with tough situations every day. Things don’t develop how you would expect, and you have to spread your wings and learn how to fly.

What did you gain from the Applied Entrepreneurship course in particular?

I benefited a lot from this course on the CUHK MBA, led by Professor Wilton Chau, who established a Pan-Asia venture development platform which links students, startups, and investors together.

We were engaged in an Israeli project that helps Asthma patients better control their disease. We had a conference call with the founder every week, interviewed industry experts, visited hospitals, cold called competitors, and helped the company find manufacturers in mainland China. 

On the final day of this course, we gave a ten-minute presentation to real investors, including Ping An Venture, IPV Capital, SEGNEL Ventures, VentureCraft Group, Business Angel Network South East Asia, and others. It’s the best way to learn how to start a business, as well as how to be a venture capitalist.

What about the Social Entrepreneurship Project?

That project was the first time I’d experienced social entrepreneurship, and I had the chance to work with a great Hong Kong-based social enterprise. My team and I spent two months working with this company, helping them solve pain points, and to better understand the needs of people with disabilities.

I was moved to tears several times when I interviewed the founder and employees. This experience has taught me that entrepreneurship is not all about innovation and profitability, we need to emphasize social responsibility, be friendly to people in need, to society, and to the environment.

How did the job at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation come about?

The CUHK MBA Career Management Center send job recommendations based on our target industry and companies. Fortunately, after submitting my resume for an internship position I got the offer and joined HKSTP. After a seven-month internship, I became a full-time employee.

Student Reviews






One of a kind

I studied Bioinformatics at CUHK last year. It was the only Master's degree in Hong Kong in this field. This program developed my analytical skills and equipped me to be a Bioinformatician in a very practical way. I enjoyed my year here and met classmates from different parts of the world. If you are thinking to enhance your profile, this degree program would be a good option.




On Campus

general education courses, unique college system, large campus

The university facilitates multi-dimension and interdisciplinary learning. In social science faculty, we need to choose courses as our faculty package from other departments (architecture, psychology, sociology, etc.) to learn more than our major required courses. We are also required to finish general education courses, which aid our critical thinking and humanistic sensibilities. I do recommend the social science broad-based program, and the professors I met so far are all responsible and erudite.





The faculty of law is relatively new. You do not need to have a LLB to pursue a LLM, which is special. The taught programme is great for mature students who want to obtain legal knowledge. CUHK has good teaching staff too.




Amazing Campus and Great Educational Environment

Not only is CUHK's main campus breathtaking, it provides for a good educational environment for students. The university is well-equipped with modern and up-to-date facilities to help students with their study. We have 8 libraries in total around the campus; one for media, one for architectural studies, the medical library and the law library. The Professors are always helpful and are happy to talk to students when needed. Moreover, the college system within the university brings forth the uniqueness of CUHK. Each student belongs to a different college, and in that students are able to meet different peoples from different countries and students from different faculties. I think CUHK provides for a well-rounded university life for all students.





One of the most down to earth places in HK. A great opportunity to learn and embody the local culture. Also had one the most beautiful campus in Hong Kong up on the hillside. Glad to have graduated here.




Innovative and Supportive

My university provided me with all the support I needed, and encouraged me to be up to date with all the new developments in the world. They also provided me with the incentive to excel at what I do, and they take much pride in my achievements. I have had a very rewarding university experience.




Small, New But Friendly Law School

To being with, I think the campus of CUHK is the best and the biggest in Hong Kong, with fresh air and trees everywhere. I am an undergraduate Law student at CUHK and I think the teaching here is great, with very friendly and nice professors and the new Lee Shau Kee Building. In terms of the courses offered by CUHK, as one of the largest universities in Hong Kong, CUHK is an all-rounded university, offering a wide range of courses to students. Students may take the introductory courses of discipline other than their own major, or even declare a minor. For law electives, due to the small amount of intake, the variety of law electives are not that huge. However, the Faculty is offering some international programmes, which can be treated as law electives, but at the same time, provide us with an opportunity to travel and know more about the legal system of another country. The career support from the Faculty of Law is also amazing. The Faculty will organise CV Sessions and talks on how to get an internship from law firms or mini-pupillage from barrister's chambers. Each student will also have a Distinguished Professional Mentor, which is a current legal profession, providing us with practical advices and updates of the legal field. Finally, from my personal experience, I think the students in CUHK are friendly and genuine. As Law students, competition is inevitable for grades, GPAs, vacation schemes and training contract. However, I think the competition in CUHK Law School is a positive one, in a sense that help us grow together, instead of fighting with each other no matter what. That is the biggest reason why I am having a very good time here in CUHK Law School.




A place to explore your interests

As a law graduate from CUHK (both undergrad and post-grad), I realise that I had many opportunities to explore my areas of interests (legal and non-legal both). The faculty/university requires us to take a certain number of non-law electives, and offers a plethora of courses to choose from. Personally, I took 3 modules in Korean --I can't say it's made me highly proficient, but it's definitely given me a good foundation (I can walk into a Korean restaurant and confidently order food, at the very least). The fact that language courses are offered also provides students who are more financially constrained an opportunity to learn a language without having to shell out a premium for a decent language course. On top of that, we have a range of law electives as well. I know of classmates who have developed lasting interest in different areas of law because of the electives they took in school. The two electives that I would say have changed me is (i) mooting and (ii) family law. I think my experience in an international commercial arbitration moot competition has helped tremendously in formulating legal arguments and legal writing. On the other hand, taking a family law elective has made me very interested in the family law practice, especially in terms of child rights. For these experiences which I have gained, I'm grateful for the opportunities provided by the school. One main issue most students I know have is with the way our GPA is calculated and the lack of transparency in terms of how the honours system works. As our GPA is marked on a curve. it's highly unrepresentative of what we have achieved as individuals. Given that our GPA is the only criteria that is looked at when we apply for the compulsory post-graduate law course (mandatory should we want to practise law and/or be trainees in Hong Kong), it will put our own students at a distinct disadvantage when we compete for limited spaces with students from schools where GPA is not on a bell curve.




On Campus

Valuable time in CUHK

I like the learning environment and people at CUHK. Surrounded by hills and Tolo Harbour, CUHK provides a balance between nature and hustle. You can always escape from the busy study life and meet your friend around the big campus for different activities.