Victoria Park's Lunar New Year market gives teens a chance to prove their skills, writes Wong Yat-hei
The Lunar New Year market opens in less than two weeks. Those who want to see what it is like to run a business are getting ready to set up shop in the hope of making themselves a small fortune.
Students, too, are setting up stalls, but most are more interested in learning how to run a business than simply making cash.
Concordia Lutheran School decided to run a stall at Victoria Park to give students the chance to put their business knowledge to use.
Led by students from the business stream, the school issued stocks to students to raise the capital for a Lunar New Year Stall project. The response from the students was excellent - all 12,000 shares were sold, raising HK$60,000.
The school spent HK$20,000 bidding for a stall that was located near an exit in the market. Lai Ka-ying, chief executive officer (CEO) of sales, explained: 'Visitors are most likely to make a purchase when they are about to leave so we choose to have our stall there.'
Yu Hoi-fai, CEO of the New Year Stall, says they plan to be more diverse with their products in order to attract shoppers from different age groups.
'Earlier in January, students and teachers visited a retail market in Guangzhou to look for goods to sell. We have a focus group ranging from teenagers to middle-aged people which helped us decide. In the end we bought 24 different lines of goods including decorations and dolls.'
A pre-sale was held to test the response of shoppers.
'We will further adjust what we are selling according to the response from the pre-sale,' said Hoi-fai.
Chief financial officer Chan Tsz-ting believes the venture is going to be a success.
'The market is near the school, which saves on time and travelling costs. There is a sales team of more than 70 students to share the work burden. The weather is our biggest enemy. If it rains we may lose money, otherwise I think we should do well,' she said.
Yan Chai Hospital Tung Chi Ying Memorial Secondary School, which has been running New Year stalls for eight years and sees it as a school tradition, will also be running a stall this year.
Yuen Man-sing, the Form Six CEO, said: 'The 30 sixth formers from the business stream each contributed HK$1,000.
'When that was added to the interest free loan provided by the PTA, we had about HK$100,000 to work with.'
This year, the school will be selling 19 products from the mainland that a 30-man team bought from a Guangzhou wholesale market in December last year.
Man-sing said: 'We are selling tiger dolls, tiger-themed decorations and Valentine's goods such as plastic flowers and teddy bears.
'All the goods have arrived and been properly sorted out and stored at the school. The promotion department is hard at work brushing up our sales skills and I think we will be ready when the New Year Market opens on February 8.'