- To promote social entrepreneurship as an agent of social change and building a modern civil society
- To Build a platform for social enterprises, NGOs, charities, businesses, investors, academics and government to engage with one another in developing cross-sector partnerships
- To explore ways to enhance the business capabilities of social enterprises and to nurture innovative entrepreneurship among young people
- To establish social enterprises as opportunities for investment and to promote impact investing
- To bridge between funding bodies, investors and social enterprises
- To capture the new dynamics of social entrepreneurship in the region and around the world and to provide a forum for exchange of ideas and strategies
The Social Enterprise Summit of Hong Kong was founded by the Hong Kong Policy Research Foundation (HKPRF) in 2008 to advocate social innovation and entrepreneurship, that was then attracting much attention in many places as a solution to the social and development challenges of the time. HKPRF, established in 1998 for the purpose of supporting public policy research, provided initial funding and administrative support to the Summit through the Hong Kong Policy Research Institute.
In 2014, with the Summit becoming a more independent operation of its own, HKPRF transferred the Summit’s project management to the Hong Kong Social Entrepreneurship Forum (HKSEF), a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting and supporting the development of social entrepreneurship.
HKSEF has been the organiser of the Summit since 2014. Every year, HKSEF invites organisations and representatives from the civil society, the business sector, the government and the academia to co-organise an array of community activities leading to the flagship International Symposium. The Summit now becomes an important annual conference in Hong Kong. It coordinates the efforts of 20 organisations with strong support from the Hong Kong SAR Government to emerge as a major cross-sector platform in promoting innovative entrepreneurship for social change. It also bridges the community with the government and is a well-recognised international forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences. Since its inception in 2008, SES has become a highly-acclaimed annual event attracting some 2,000-3,000 participants every year from Hong Kong, mainland China and the Asia Pacific region.