Updated: Mar 29
This last Sunday, HiLink Education provided technical support to the 2021 SAGE China Competition. SAGE is a youth entrepreneurship competition designed to promote business leadership.
HiLink Education has an interesting history with SAGE and an exciting future.
More About SAGE
SAGE, or Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship, is on a mission to “help create the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders whose innovations and social enterprises address the major unmet needs of our global community.” These competitions are an amazing experience for students interested in business.
What makes SAGE different from other youth entrepreneurial programs, however, is its focus on making the world a better place. Students must form a business that will genuinely improve someone’s well-being. Business goals can address poverty, food shortage, education, climate action, and gender equality, among many other prominent world issues.
SAGE was founded in 2002 and has established a worldwide presence. All participating countries have national competitions, and the first and second place of the national competitions are invited to participate in the SAGE world cup, which is in August. According to the official handbook, SAGE has a presence in 31 countries, with about 1,200 active teams and 12,000 active participants.
To compete in SAGE, at least 3 teenagers aged 13-19 must form a team and create, market, and operate a real business.
As mentioned earlier, the SAGE competitions are held at a national and international level. The top two teams from each country are invited to compete in the SAGE World Cup, the final competition.
SAGE gives teens a chance to talk about their ideas and share them with others. Teens are the future, and giving them a stage is very empowering.
The beauty in SAGE is the values they have and instill in others. Many businesses don’t prioritize making the world a better place. SAGE participants have an incredible mindset that rewards both their own business and the world.
Even if teams don’t win the national or international competitions, they still get valuable experience. Teens experience how it is to budget, market, organize, and operate a business.
SAGE Powered by HiLink Education
SAGE is a chance for students to work together, run a business, and meet with young entrepreneurs around the world to expand their knowledge and gain valuable real-life experience. Unfortunately, the pandemic didn’t allow for travel to happen in 2020. It won’t be happening this year, either. However, there are countless ways for a virtual competition to be held. So HiLink helped out.
SAGE China used a modified version of HiLink's online teaching platform.
Teams are scored in front of a panel of qualified judges who hold leadership positions in the business world. Teams are judged based on their business’s operations, social impact, creativity & innovation, sustainability, and overall presentation. This includes putting together an annual report and a video presentation. Students must also answer questions on the spot. The platform that HiLink made for SAGE was built to support all of these aspects of the competition.
The platform was secure, effective, and easy to use. It was a huge success with many features like material submission, online calendar, high-quality video chat with many participants of different roles. The bottom participants were designated for the host and judges, who have the ability to grade student performance on the right during the live event. And final scores are automatically calculated and produced. Students are placed in the vertical cells on the top right, making the UI more intuitive. The hosting account has total control over the competition, which allows the host to mute/unmute, stop cam on all participants, and stream video to the main screen. Guests were also able to watch the competition through the platform.
The SAGE China competition was held last Sunday, and it went very smoothly.
SAGE and HiLink have common values and goals, which is why we chose to work together. Both organizations are moving toward a better future, with improving the quality of education being a common goal.
HiLink’s CEO, Kelvin Wu, was very involved in SAGE this year as he was a judge.
Kelvin and his team were the 2016 SAGE China Champions. They were runner-up in the SAGE World Cup, as well. Their project’s name was actually HiLink. Kelvin came a long way with HiLink, and the mission has stayed the same since HiLink’s founding: make high-quality education accessible. Kelvin was able to keep his HiLink project going and turn his high school dream into a successful company.
HiLink and SAGE Moving Forward
HiLink and SAGE will continue to work together.
Both organizations will be collaborating to build the SAGE alumni community. With SAGE building one of the most powerful business networks in the world, it would be a great resource for alumni to be able to connect with peers and entrepreneurial resources and prosper well beyond the confines of the competition.
HiLink is looking for opportunities to facilitate other nonprofit organizations. HiLink wants to provide students with a high-quality education.
HiLink is a true believer in its mission: we want to connect students with educational resources in an affordable and accessible way.