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Bidding to become the best

For the first time in its six-year history, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Hong Kong Business Competition is open to full-time accounting and business students as well as sub-degree students from local institutes.

More than 2,100 students in 603 teams have signed up for the competition, which has challenged students’ communication skills and business knowledge since it started in 2007. Over 200 teams of degree students and close to 400 teams of sub-degree students will compete in two separate categories.

This year, ACCA has partnered with the government’s Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) to challenge teams to simulate a non-profit-making project that is conducive to the development of creative industries in Hong Kong, and to bid for a grant from CreateHK’s CreateSmart Initiative (CSI).

Projects can cover certain creative sectors including advertising, architecture, animation, comics and digital entertainment, music, publishing, and television, but budgets must not exceed HK$3 million. Contestants must submit a brief business proposal to a judging panel that shows their ideas will have a positive and sustainable impact on the creative industry.

After the first round, 20 teams each from the degree and sub-degree categories shall be shortlisted. Fifteen teams from each category will be awarded with a Judges Commendation while the top five teams from each category will advance to the finals, where they will present their business proposals to the judges and the audience.

“The competition aims to create a platform for degree and sub-degree students to learn from one another, and equips them with the accounting knowledge, business skills and communication skills that are in demand from employers nowadays,” says Brenda Lam, ACCA Hong Kong’s head of learning and development.

“By developing a sensible business proposal, contestants can learn how professional input made by accounting and business professionals can contribute towards the success of a business project.”

Cindy Kwong, CreateHK’s senior manager (funding), says they anticipate the competition will make tertiary-education students aware of the importance of the creative industry to the economic development of Hong Kong. “CreateHK was established in 2009 as the dedicated office of the HKSAR government in spearheading the development of creative industries in Hong Kong,” she says.

“CSI, as the new funding scheme launched when CreateHK was established, provides financial support to initiatives that are conducive to the development of Hong Kong’s creative industries, excluding the film sector. I hope the competition can let students know more about the works of CreateHK and the scope of CSI.”

The competition has prizes for best presenter, best team spirit, most creative team, best proposal, best budgeting and “my favourite team”. Apart from trophies and cash prizes, ACCA will also arrange a job-interview workshop for all finalists to receive first-hand interview and job-hunting tips.

The top five finalists from each category will be invited to present their proposals to a panel of judges on December 1 for the degree category and on December 8 for the sub-degree category at Langham Place Hotel’s Grand Ballroom in Mongkok.

The contest is supported by Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, Michael Page International, PwC, the Hung Hing Ying and Leung Hau Ling Charitable Foundation, and UNESCO Hong Kong Association. The South China Morning Post and Classified Post are the media partners.