Luke Tam, Co-Founder & Chief Explorer of KaiFong Tour

"What is different about us is that we value human connections."

- Luke Tam

Finding a decent job at a big company was a common dream to many graduate students, but to our alumni Luke, he had a completely different answer.  Back in 2015, Luke was a graduate student of marketing and information systems, his passion in volunteering and his background growing up lay down the foundation for building Kai Fong Tour, an award-winning social enterprise that organizes local neighborhood tours to facilitate connection and understanding among the diverse communities of Hong Kong.

Luke shared the rationale and operation model behind Kai Fong Tour in the sharing session. Behind every social enterprise, there must be an interesting goal and mission to their business. In this case, Kai Fong Tour’s mission is to bring the human connection to all communities among different Hong Kong districts.  “ What is different about us is that we value human connection the most. “ He explains.

“My friends and family were the main reason that Kai Fong Tour can be what it is today.” 

Like many other social enterprises, Luke and his team confronted numerous struggles and challenges during the process of starting Kai Fong Tour. Staff and financial problems were some of the main obstacles in business operations.  Through his determination to contribute to the community and help from Luke’s friends and family, Luke shared the key resources to build the business that often comes from the surrounding. Instead of looking for capital or external investment, making use of the resources flexibly and creatively can be the key element to begin a startup company. 

How can social enterprise survive under this economic climix?  

In the eyes of many young entrepreneurs, new business and funding opportunities seem to be a myth that only the insiders understand the mechanism behind. To this, Luke as a young entrepreneur himself shared his viewpoints and explained the ecosystem of the social enterprise's funding and the operation mechanism behind Kai Fong Tour and other Hong Kong startups. Luke also shared his recent strategy for his business to cope with the changes caused by the pandemic in the sharing session. Tourism was one of the industries that were deeply affected by the pandemic. When the whole world is practicing social distancing, how can Luke continue their mission of Kai Fong Tour to connect the community?   “In a time like this, we can only find a new way to do what we have been doing,” he says. 

Sham Shui Po virtual tour was adopted to their experience tour to replace physical tour among the community. Kai Fong Tour continues to provide opportunities to connect the community in a new and flexible way even in such a difficult time.

Other than adopting the hit of the pandemic, Kai Fong Tour also has a series of ways to connect the community with each individual that their abilities might have been ignored. “We offer training programs for the people who are unemployed or even homeless, they can gain the practical skills to become the guide for our Kai Fong tour. We hope that we can give them the opportunity to make use of their knowledge and experience, having the proper guidance to be the back to the community.” Luke explains

Not only Luke and his team create an amazing journey of their own, but Kai Fong tour also opened new pathways for the community to be a place where all members felt belonged and valued. 

Student Takeaway

I really enjoyed this sharing. I always like hearing about social enterprises and projects related to the theme, community. It was great to hear more insight on businesses like these. The creative ways to financially sustain it, the methods they used to bring the community together, it’s all very interesting to hear. I’m sure like many others, one of the most memorable moments is when he explained what Kai Fong means. “Everyone is a neighbour.” We, as a community, can actually have such meaningful human connections with one another. And that’s what Kai Fong focuses on, valuing human connections. It’s tough, but as Luke has explained, we just need the passion and vision to make things work. Thank you, Luke for the fruitful sharing. I wish you luck on your future endeavors. #service #passion #humility #fearlessness #speed #passion

Joevent Lawrancei - Student from ENTR1001

leadership #service #passion Thank you Mr. Tam for your sharing. Through your talk, I have learnt that there are no shortcuts to do anything as everything takes effort and time to build up. I think what makes you successful are the vision, mission, and passion that you have towards what you are doing now and what you want to achieve in the future. It is also very nice of you to think about your roles in the society and how you can make contribution when the majority in the society is focusing on themselves rather than showing care to others. I really appreciate your spirit. Being a young entrepreneur is definitely not easy, especially when senior colleagues or the general public challenge you or judge you simply because of your age, but I am very glad that this does not really happen. I am sure that for those who have doubts about your ability will eventually acknowledge your efforts and have faith in you, so do not worry too much, you have been managing everything very well! Wish you all the best in the future!

Cherry Tzu - Student from ENTR 1001

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