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Four Social Innovation Funding Programmes Open For Applications

You may now apply for a funding support if you wish to address social problems through entrepreneurship. The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund) under the Commission on Poverty creates social impact through innovative solutions that address poverty and social exclusion partly through the intermediaries. Four Innovative Programmes run by the intermediaries are currently opened for applications, read the programmes details below and register now! Good Seed (Cohort 2) Objective: To help students or alumni of higher education institutions unleash their innate ability for innovation and develop innovative ideas and creative solutions to tackle social problems and address the needs of the underprivileged in Hong Kong. Eligibility: The programme is open to students and graduates of higher education institutions in and outside Hong Kong with Hong Kong residency. Participants can enrol on an individual or team basis. Intermediary: PolyU Technology and Consultancy Co Ltd Application deadline: September 27, 2021 at 6pm Details: https://goodseed.hk/ BEHub (Cohort 4) Objective: Inspiring and nurturing the disadvantaged population and members of the public to become social innovators to address the challenges relating to poverty and social exclusion faced by the disadvantaged population, particularly rehabilitated persons, current or ex-drug abusers, people of diverse race, youth-at-risks, people with disabilities or persons in recovery, through innovative solutions. Eligibility: "BEHub" is open to organisations or individuals, particularly disadvantaged people, aged 18 or above with no bankruptcy order or proceedings during the application. Intermediary: The Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, Hong Kong Application deadline: September 21, 2021 Details: www.behub.org.hk / https://forms.gle/9dgEWzUb1GT8AHKk6 Impact Incubator (Third Round) Objective: a one-stop platform that connects social entrepreneurs to knowledge, resources and networks of social welfare agencies, social enterprises, philanthropic foundations, business associations, professional bodies, etc. This platform helps social entrepreneurs implement innovative solutions to address poverty and social exclusion problems in Hong Kong and drive sustainable impact. Eligibility: "Impact Incubator" is open to Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 years or above (for late prototype only) as well as organisations and companies registered in Hong Kong. Intermediary: The Hong Kong Council of Social Service Application deadline: September 30, 2021 Details: https://socialinnovation.org.hk/   Impact Incubator (innovative proposals addressing mental health and well-being in Hong Kong) Objective: To address mental health and well-being issues amongst local youth, elderly and other disadvantaged groups in Hong Kong. The projects should also relate to poverty alleviation, prevention or social inclusion. Eligibility: The programme is open to organisations and companies registered in Hong Kong. Intermediary: The Hong Kong Council of Social Service Application deadline: October 28, 2021 Details: https://bit.ly/2Xi45r3

Youth Entrepreneurship Series: Bosco, founder of WEDO GLOBAL

“Build your business inch by inch if you have an idea.” Bosco, founder of WEDO GLOBAL notices that the difference in languages and skin colours have resulted in misconceptions of other ethnic groups. This motivates him to become an advocate of cultural inclusion. WEDO GLOBAL aims at promoting cultural diversity by training people of diverse race as community tour guides and organises cultural tours, workshops as well as overseas cultural expeditions. Amid the COVID-19 epidemic, WEDO GLOBAL has set up an additional “We Mask Action” programme which engages women of diverse race in designing and producing face masks with the aim to increase their income and promote cultural inclusion. Bosco appreciates the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups for providing a network and promotional platform for reaching the youth. Let’s watch the video below to learn more about Bosco’s entrepreneurial story. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) >>Related Story: Social Entrepreneur Series - Companions in an inclusive community [Community Participation]<<   Innovative Venture - WE MASK Action The innovative venture mentioned above is funded by the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund and assisted and supported by the Fund’s intermediaries in project implementation.  The details of the innovative venture are as follows: Name of Organisation: WEDO GLOBAL Service nature: Healthcare Beneficiary group: People of diverse race Project type: Prototype Intermediary Programme: Impact Incubator The project is launched with the support from The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups “Youth Business Hong Kong” scheme. The scheme provides financial and other practical supports to young people to attain their goals. Please visit the official website for more details on application.

Youth Entrepreneurship Series: Ian, founder of Rock-Solid Engineering Construction Company

“There could be mountains ahead to climb, yet you need to give it a try.” Ian is the founder of Rock-Solid Engineering Construction Company Limited, a company which provides scaffolding service. He believes that it is essential for entrepreneurs to embrace challenges. At the initial phase of his business, for instance, he had been active in networking activities to search for clients. Although there were challenges posed by the epidemic, he continued to be committed and did not give up his business.  For interested young people, Ian advises them that the keys to success are to understand one’s characteristics and to have courage even in face of difficulties. Let’s watch the video below to learn more about Ian’s entrepreneurial story. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese)   The project is launched with the support from The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups “Youth Business Hong Kong” scheme. The scheme provides financial and other practical supports to young people to attain their goals. Please visit the official website for more details on application.

Youth Entrepreneurship Series: Cos&Play Studio – a cosplay workshop

“There is a chance if you try and none if you don’t.” Mickey is a cosplay lover. He noticed that the cosplay culture lacked popularity in Hong Kong and decided to start a business in the field. With the support from his family, he founded the “Cos&Play Studio” to organise regular programmes and activities on cosplay costumes and props making. The Studio also provides a space for networking and workshop rental. Mickey believes that it is essential for an entrepreneur to have faith and step forward to realise one’s dream without hesitation. Let’s watch the video below to learn more about Mickey’s entrepreneurial story. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese)   The project is launched with the support from The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups “Youth Business Hong Kong” scheme. The scheme provides financial and other practical supports to young people to attain their goals. Please visit the official website for more details on application.

Cyberport Academy: Free Resources for Entrepreneurs

It’s easy to start your own business with Cyberport! The Cyberport Academy has launched a new online platform which connects the world's top technology learning resources and offers a wide range of enrichment courses, training programmes and internship opportunities for students, teachers, youth, entrepreneurs and practitioners from all walks of industries. Check out the four useful resources below from the platform! Free Online Learning Tools Provided in Partnership with World Class Platforms The Academy  partners  with global technology  giants  AWS,  IBM  and  Microsoft to offer a  free  online  learning  portal "AIM for Students". Secondary  school  students  and  university  students  can  keep  themselves  updated  with latest technology trends and knowledge, while teachers can embrace EdTech by utilising the platform to create an interactive learning environment. Free Online Entrepreneurship Learning Platform The online portal is connected to the Startup School of Y Combinator, a leading start-up accelerator in the United States. Start-ups can get chances to connect with internationally renowned  start-ups  such  as  Airbnb,  Stripe  and  Coin base,  and  get  access  to  free entrepreneurial  advice  and  consultations. Certificate courses and workshops Provide recognised training programmes and courses including accredited programmes, special short courses, seminars, workshops, delegations, etc. The programmes cover areas in innovation and technology including FinTech and Smart Living with the aim to provide students with credible qualifications and level hierarchy recognition. Talent cultivation programmes Cyberport Academy provides internships and career opportunities, including collaborating with faculties in various tertiary institutions and encourages university students to participate in multi-disciplinary credit-bearing externship programmes to gain hands-on experience in managing start-ups. There are also internships and entrepreneurial activities such as Cyberport Digital Tech Internship Programme and Cyberport University Partnership Programme. The Academy also holds annual Career Fair to further connect the I&T industry with job seekers and cultivate tech talents. Please stay tuned for the latest updates on the official website of Cyberport.

New round of Rental Concessions Support Start-ups

To provide relief to the innovation and technology industry, start-ups and partner companies at the Hong Kong Science Park and Cyberport amid the epidemic, the Government provides them with rental waiver through the Anti-epidemic Fund since October 2019. The third round of 6-month rental concession will be launched for the period of 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021 in line with the third round of the Anti-epidemic Fund. Details are as follow: HKSTP HKSTP will provide a new 6-month rental concession of up to 75% of agreed rental fees to existing HKSTP tenants, including partner companies, retail, food & beverage (RFB) operators and professional services companies, at Science Park, InnoCentre and the Industrial Estates in Tai Po, Yuen Long and Tseung Kwan O. Between 16 September 2020 and 15 October 2020, existing HKSTP tenants can apply for the rental concession. For all HKSTP incubatees actively participating in the Incu-App, Incu-Tech and Incu-Bio programmes during the third round of Relief Period, they will be provided with a special one-off grant of HK$37,500. In addition, the incubatees will be entitled to the 75% rental relief on any rental fees still payable after the rental subsidies from existing programme funding have been applied. Further details on eligibility and the application process of the rental concession and the special grant will be provided via direct communications from HKSTP. Cyberport Cyberport will grant a 75% rental concession for all Cyberport office tenants, retailers and restaurant operators, as well as Smart-Space users in Cyberport’s main campus and in Tsuen Wan. Eligible tenants are required to submit applications to Cyberport and details will be announced later via notice to tenants.

Apply for entrepreneurial courses now with your HK$10,000 Cash Payout!

Have you registered the Cash Payout Scheme and collected your HK$10,000? The Cash Payout Scheme is open for registration starting from June 21. Each Hong Kong permanent resident aged 18 or above is eligible to receive HK$10,000.  For electronic registrations submitted through banks, payment will be deposited into bank accounts starting from around July 8. People who register by paper form will receive payment or notification for cheque collection simultaneously from around July 20. How do you plan to spend your money? Try to find your favourite entrepreneurial courses from our course search engine at the Career & Study sector, or check out some selected courses below and gear up for your own business!   Foundation Foundation Certificate in Small Business Start-up I (Fundamental Operation) (Part-time) Content: Business opportunities ; Business Plans ; Techniques in choosing shop location ; Practical business skills ; Stock supply ; Payment methods ; Resources management ; Introduction of relevant law regulations School: - City University of Hong Kong - School of Continuing and Professional Education ;               - Yan Oi Tong Training & Employment Services ;               - Hong Kong College of Technology (HKCT)   Foundation Certificate in Small Business Start-up II (Financial Management) (Part-time) Content: Basic financial items ; Introduction to budget ; Calculation in loan interest ; Introduction to property lease for small business ; Introduction to MPF and profit tax School: Yan Oi Tong Training & Employment Services ;              - Hong Kong College of Technology (HKCT)   Foundation Certificate in Brand Building Concepts (Part-time) Content: Basic knowledge in brand building ; Relationship between start-up and brand ; Brand building and positioning ; Procedures of brand building ; Brand equity ; Assessment in brand building ; Brand development and operation point School: Hong Kong College of Technology (HKCT)   Online Business Foundation Certificate in Internet Business Start-up (Operation & Marketing) (Part-time) Content: Basic knowledge in online entrepreneurship and business ; Strategies in online business ; Overview of website structure and management strategy School: City University of Hong Kong - School of Continuing and Professional Education ;             - Hong Kong College of Technology (HKCT);             - St. James' Settlement   Course on Online Store Operation Content: Trends in online marketing and social media ; How to perform the “7Ps” marketing strategies ; Guidelines and tricks in building an online store platform ; Strategies on e-commerce personalisation School:  Yan Oi Tong Training & Employment Services   Foundation Certificate in Internet Business Start-up (Digital Marketing in China) (Part-time) Content: Digital marketing environment in China ; Difference of digital marketing between China and Hong Kong ; Basic application of various marketing strategies in China ; Basic functions and marketing modules of “Weixin” School: Hong Kong College of Technology (HKCT)   Professional Training Hong Kong Statistics for Business Content: Introduction to official statistics and sample surveys ; Population statistics and projections: Research and marketing ; Labour, price and wage statistics: Personnel management and manpower planning School: HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE)   Certificate on Street Food Entrepreneurship Content: Introduction to the industry ; Skills of preparing basic sauces and seasoning ; Types of sales ; Practical production School: Yan Oi Tong Training & Employment Services   Certificate on Coffee Shop Entrepreneurship Content: Case study in common operation modules of coffee shops ; Start-up planning ; Introduction to restaurant license ; employee training ; Items to note on shop location, furnishing and marketing ; Placement practice School: Yan Oi Tong Training & Employment Services

"Four-in-one" Integrated Services of the SME Centres

To strengthen support for SMEs and to raise SMEs’ awareness of the various funding schemes, the Government has consolidated the services of existing SME centres, including the "Support and Consultation Centre for SMEs" (SUCCESS) under the Trade and Industry Department, the "SME Centre" under the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, "SME One" under the Hong Kong Productivity Council and "TecONE" under the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, to provide "four-in-one" integrated services starting from 1 October 2019.Enterprises can obtain business information, funding schemes information and advisory services, etc. at any of the Centres. The SME Service Centres will also continue to organise various seminars and workshops from time to time, and provide specialised services to enterprises. SME ReachOut In addition, a dedicated service team named "SME ReachOut" has commenced operation starting from 1 January 2020 to reach out to SMEs and answer questions on funding applications, with a view to encouraging better utilisation of the support provided by the Government. For enquiries, please contact SME ReachOut hotline at 2788 6262 or email at sme_reachout@hkpc.org

Business Tips

Business is a massive challenge for anyone and there are many hurdles to cross before it can become a very successful and established one. There are many technical things that one needs to be aware of while running a business. Business Support There are some educational institutions which aim at providing entrepreneurship training courses for young business enthusiasts. More information about these courses can generally be found on the internet. Some recommended sites include 'EntrepreneurHK' Business Information Services *, "Meet-the-Advisors" Business Advisory Service and the startup e-books on the Hong Kong Public Libraries' e-Book platform. All these training courses can be essential in a young ambitious person’s development into a brilliant entrepreneur. Marketing Promotions Marketing is one of the major deciding factors of how a business would fare in its market. Therefore, it is essential to have effective and attractive promotions. In addition to the obvious importance of promotions, it is very important to adhere to some laws and rules such as Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance, Consumer Protection Law, and Trade Descriptions etc. Once the business has developed well locally, overseas promotion and market development * can also be given a thought too for expanding the business. Social Responsibilities Social responsibilities and business ethics are two of the most important elements in the business world. It is necessary to aim for making profits but it shouldn’t be at the expense of breaking ethics or forgetting about the well-being of the society. SIE Fund aims at promoting this concept and it could be a good place to get started if you would like to know more about this topic. Wish you all the best for running your business and hope that it has a pleasant and comforting journey ahead in its development of becoming a top company! (P.S. Do look out for business traps * and don’t get fooled too easily! Take risks sensibly!) *Chinese version only