Nine Macau, 20 HK businesses vie for first ‘Deignan Award for Responsible Entrepreneurship’ on Mar 25

Marco Carvalho

Nine small and medium-sized businesses from Macau and 20 from the neighbouring Hong Kong Special Administrative Region applied for the inaugural edition of the Deignan Award for Responsible Entrepreneurship, a new accolade that was created by the Macau Ricci Institute for the purpose of distinguishing good business practices.

The prize, which will be awarded on March 25 at the Chinese University of Hong Kong provides a focus for a discussion forum on business leadership that will take place at the Rui Cunha Foundation nine days earlier.

Titled “How to Become Good Leaders – The Challenge of the First Deignan Award”, the initiative will bring together the judges who will pick the local winner of the prize among the Macau businesses that have outdone themselves in terms of CSR (corporate social responsibility) practices: “We are having warming-up events in preparation for the First Deignan Award for Responsible Entrepreneurship, which will be awarded by Bishop Stephen Chow, SJ, in Hong Kong, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on March 25, 2023,” Father Stephan Rothlin told O Clarim.

“Twenty companies from Hong Kong applied for the award, which encapsulates the key values of the Macau Ricci Institute. In Macau, nine small and medium-sized companies also applied for the award. Therefore, after the last Forum focused on the implementation of Stewardship Codes, we will have a Podium discussion at the Rui Cunha Foundation on March 14 on the topic “How to Become Good Leaders?”, the director of the Ricci Institute of Macau adds.

The initiative aims to inform the local population about the reasons that led the Jesuit think tank and the Woofoo Foundation to advance towards the creation of an award that distinguishes good business practices. Announced in April 2022, the Deignan Award for Responsible Entrepreneurship honours Father Alfred Deignan, a Jesuit missionary who died in 2018. Its main objective is to encourage business practices guided by the principles of justice, solidarity and complementarity and to encourage the adoption and promotion of more sustainable business models.

The ‘Deignan Award for Responsible Entrepreneurship’ honours Father Alfred Deignan, a Jesuit missionary who died in 2018

A mindful leadership

The strengthening of leadership skills set the tone, last Saturday, for a new edition of one of the most emblematic initiatives promoted by the Macau Ricci Institute. The premises of the Matteo Ricci College, next to the Ruins of Saint Paul, welcomed the return of the popular Contemplation and Leadership sessions that the Jesuit think thank has been organizing for several years. The practice of meditation, Father Stephan Rothlin claims, helped dozens of local residents to deal with the impact of COVID-19 during the demanding months in which Macau was under the yoke of the pandemic: “We may look at the tricky question of success from the recent experience with the pandemic, which seemed quite unbearable for some. However, for some of the participants of our regular workshops, including myself, this period has precisely helped us to recognize the relevance of Contemplation, which made it possible not only to cope much better with some of the inconveniences, but even to seize this as a chance to progress with a stronger focus in life, practicing the Contemplative silence, while others just kept complaining or even collapsed into frustration and anger,” the Swiss missionary argues.

Last Saturday’s session was oriented by Father Felipe Bacalso, SJ, a Filipino missionary who arrived last October. The initiative will be repeated on March 25, April 29, May 27, June 24, July 29 and September 20.