Eleven candidates were chosen in the inaugural 2013 Cohort. Their ages range from early twenties to early thirties and they come from a broad range of careers.
Johnny Luk is a senior executive, social entrepreneur and author. He is the incoming CEO of the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (NACUE), representing the interest of students across 200 campuses in the UK. A graduate and former Representative Chair for over a thousand students at Durham University, he was appointed Senior Policy Advisor for the UK Government at the age of just 21 and then the Deputy Head of Strategy for Entrepreneurship in UK Trade & Investment. He was the Founder of Inspired & Hired, a social enterprise nominated for the prestigious Per Sec Award and author of the published book ‘The Grad Job Game’. He was the 2009 U18 UK Rowing Gold Medallist and Captain of Boats at school. He was also the two -time school debating champion. A member of the Diaspora Emerging Leadership Programme, Johnny is passionate about breaking stereotypes and ensuring anyone, no matter what background, has the opportunity to shine in the UK.
Betty Liu is a city financial professional, entrepreneur advisor, and Chinese art and culture promoter. Betty obtained an MSc in Finance from the London School of Economics and Political Science, gained practical experience from UK banking, private equity and hedge fund industry, and is a member of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. She was also the Honour Graduate of Beijing China in 2006. In 2011, Betty started her career in the hedge fund industry and is now launching Funds with investment strategies focusing on Chinese Artworks and at the same time founding charities aiming to help British and Chinese artists promote their arts. On a part time basis, she also advises entrepreneurs on financial strategies, financial management and fundraising. As a member of Diaspora Emerging Leadership Programme, Betty specialises in business strategy, new market and product promotion, financial and legal advisory to assist entrepreneurs and companies that cover both P.R.C. and UK markets.
James Xu is a consultant and social entrepreneur. James joined Ernst & Young’s London office as a Consultant in 2013 after he graduated with a First-Class Honours degree in Italian and Management Studies from University College London. He also studied in the University of Bologna, Italy for a year and speaks Chinese, English and Italian fluently. James is from Qingdao, China and was the winner of the British Council’s ‘UK International Student of the Year 2011’ and Vinspired’s ‘London Spirit Award’ for his commitment to encouraging others to volunteer. Having worked in organisations like London Olympic Organising Committee, British Red Cross and UnLtd, Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, James has developed his knowledge and network of the third sector in the UK. James was also selected to carry the Olympic Torch in the London 2012 Olympics for his contribution to the local and wider communities.
Lang Xiao is a business consultant, entrepreneur, and founder of non-for-profit organization. Lang graduated from the Renmin University of China in Journalism and Communication, and obtained an MSc in Media communication and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She worked for MINI (BMW) China, a Chinese government department in Beijing, and a consulting company in the telecommunication industry in the UK. With great passion in arts, she founded a non-for-profit organization focusing on the development of UK-based Chinese artist in 2012. She was also the international program director of a Chinese art museum, and has successfully established collaborations with British Council, the British Museum and the University of the Arts London. She is now an entrepreneur running her own consulting company, ARTouch Consulting in Sino-UK arts markets. She is dedicated to ensuring good communications between the two countries through arts and culture.
Liang Wang is an qualified corporation tax adviser who has worked for major banks in London and New York.
After obtaining a first class degree at Newcastle University and MA at LSE, she completed her ACA accounting qualification whilst working at Barclays Bank. During her studies, she also worked part time as foreign secretary of a major mining company in their road show to enable a successful listing on the London AIM market. Before university she studied in China and visited Japan over a summer program promoted by local Chinese and Japanese governments as a cultural exchange student. She hopes that the Diaspora Emerging Leadership Program will help her to utilise her business knowledge and appreciation of both Chinese and British society to extend her network, and really contribute to further developing relations between them.
Victoria Yixiao Hwang is a fashion entrepreneur and stylist whose major interest is focused on linking Chinese culture with international and contemporary fashion. She is a postgraduate from the London College of Fashion in MA Fashion Entrepreneurship and Graduate Diploma Fashion Media Styling. With professional experience she gained during London Fashion Week and fashion trade fairs, she has been researching global fashion markets and aims to bring Chinese fashion to the international stage. She has also a received Bachelor Degree (Hons) in Architectural Environmental Engineering from University of Nottingham and has allowed her to explore sustainable development of the fashion industry. As a member of Diaspora Emerging Leadership Programme, Victoria believes Chinese culture will be well recognized, understood and embraced in the UK and she is very keen to make her contribution accordingly.
Wing Chan is a technology leader and former GB athlete. Wing is currently Managing Director of Preloved at the age of just 23, a technology company that is part of The Hut Group, a British online retail company and previously interned in Balderton Capital, a Venture Capital Firm. He read Computer Science at Trinity College, Cambridge and graduated in June 2013 at the top of his class. Wing is also passionate about table tennis. A former UK junior international ranked top two in England, he visited many countries when representing Great Britain.
Paul Lam is an economist and life coach. He graduated from the University of Warwick (Bachelor of Science in Philosophy, Politics and Economics) and the University of Cambridge (MPhil in Economics and Finance), Paul Lam is now working in UBS as a graduate Equities sales and trading analyst. Before working as a full time analyst he also worked in Singapore, Hong Kong and China, from human resources to marketing. He has always been very interested in public services and politics and he founded the Hong Kong Public Affairs and Social Services Society during his time in Warwick and helped many other students across UK set up similar societies. In 2012 he was selected to be one of FreshMinds’ most promising incoming UK graduates. He is now a member of the Diaspora Emerging Leader Program led and personally mentored by Lord Wei of Shoreditch. With the aim of raising the profile of the Chinese diaspora group and improving Sino-British relations, he is helping to found an association of Sino-British young entrepreneurship which provides business incubation and capital introduction services. Apart from business and social services. He is also interested in psychology and its applications where he lectured in the summer school for Chinese executives at Cambridge, teaching basic techniques of coaching and consumer behaviour.
Andy Lee is a technology entrepreneur and former forensic consultant and teacher. He grew up in Birmingham and studied Information Systems Engineering at Imperial College London. After graduating he spent 2 years Teaching English in Guangzhou China as part of a British Council programme. Andy has recently joined a Silicon Valley technology company who provide a leading cloud based solution to help leading brands to improve their customer experiences. Prior to this Andy worked for Deloitte’s Forensic Technology team gaining specialised skills in Computer Forensic, Electronic Discovery and Data Analytic. He spent extensive periods working in UK, USA and Switzerland on multinational investigations. In his spare time Andy loves to eat, sleep and drink football. He also has a keen interest in magic.
Stacey Ng is an aspiring journalist and charity entrepreneur, and currently on work experience at the BBC World Service’s The Forum, an ideas discussion show. She wrote her UCL master’s anthropology thesis on wedding ceremonies as a lens for understanding changing social relationships in Changsha, China, through conducting five weeks of independent fieldwork, interviewing informants, and engaging with the local culture. She has written about her experience on her blog, http://staceyngwrites.wordpress.com/, on which she also posts articles on HK-China relations, society and politics. In her spare time, she is a volunteer for the Birmingham Chinese Community Centre’s Heritage Lottery-funded project ‘Chinese lives in Birmingham’, and will be supporting their upcoming exhibition this summer. She enjoys writing short stories, travelling, reading, and visiting museums and art galleries.
Wei Wu is a financial academic, having joined the Business School at the University of Birmingham in 2012 to undertake research on microfinance in China. Prior to joining the Business School, he was a research assistant for the World Microfinance Forum and a project manager for CreditEase, China. He graduated from Nottingham University Business School with an MSc in Finance and Investment and was also the founder of the Microfinance Initiative at Nottingham University. His PhD research focuses on microfinance in the Chinese context. It starts with a scouping study into the development of microfinance in China and aims to explore the institutional, ethical and philosophical perspective of microfinance through the analysis of the competitiveness, geographical distribution and characteristics of Chinese microfinance institutions. Qualitative research method will be in which human actions and the role of money will be observed in selected locales.