Sphere No.48 (Jan 2020)

28,000+ grants awarded Sphere #48 2020 19 << site in just three days. Tony Ma, CEO of ESD life says, “Since the announcement made on 29 October, the entire application platform was created within 14 days.” The ESD life team worked relentlessly to design and construct the website to make it as user-friendly as possible. Over 60% of applications were made on mobile devices. Applicants only had to upload their business registration, a relevant licence, and a recent photo showing their shopfront. The application website was designed with great detail and thought, and the new platform embraced technology to serve the community in a considerate manner. Importantly, the “trust more” dimension respected the honesty of hard-working Hong Kong entrepreneurs caught in tough times not of their making. Smart application of technology was a vital element. The Google Cloud Vision AI used optical character recognition (OCR) to process the images to fill in forms. Lucy Werner, Head of Google Cloud Hong Kong, explains the impact of using this technology, “It takes just five seconds for Google Cloud Vision AI to process the text in each image. Each application can be submitted within eight minutes and the Foundation was able to process over 43,000 applications within the first three weeks.” Businesses used to dealing with bureaucracy were thrilled. LKSF have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from applicants and trade associations – and the beneficiaries LKSF principle: Trust more, stress less themselves. More than 18,000 heartwarming messages were received by the Foundation from the owners and managers of supported businesses. Over 28,000 businesses in Hong Kong were helped by this unique effort to support those buffeted by events beyond their control. The total amount awarded through grants was HK$1.009 billion. ‘Technology, Humanness and Trust’ were the key elements in delivering this philanthropic programme quickly and efficiently. LKSF and their partners placed their trust in the people of Hong Kong, the applicants, and respected their integrity, honesty and genuine need, and delivered assistance and support where it was really needed. The LKSF has chosen to support the SMEs of Hong Kong in their time of need while hoping that that need will pass and Hong Kong will return to its usual energetic, peaceful and prosperous state of affairs. Funding support at a glance HK$1.009 billion total grants 66% of applicants funded 43,000+ applications Devices useD for application 38% Desktop computer 1% Tablet 61% Mobile Special thanks to