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SME Link provides comprehensive information and support services to SMEs
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the bedrock of Hong Kong’s economy, accounting for more than 98% of enterprises and employing about 45% of the private sector workforce in the city. With a view to strengthening support for SMEs to attain prosperity and success, the Trade and Industry Department consolidated the services of the existing four SMEs centres to provide one-stop "Four-in-One" integrated services for SMEs to obtain information and services at any of the Centres and launched a web portal called "SME Link" for SMEs to access comprehensive information and support services from a single online platform. Access comprehensive information from a single online platformSME Link features links to latest information on the SME support services provided by the four SME Centres and various Government bureaux and departments. Support and Consultation Centre for Small and Medium Enterprises (SUCCESS) SUCCESS under the Trade and Industry Department in collaboration with various industrial and trade organisations, professional bodies, private enterprises and other Government departments to provide SMEs with business information and consultation services free of charge. "Meet-the-Advisors" Business Advisory Services (BAS) provided by SUCCESS that makes arrangements for SME encountering problems relating to the starting and running of a business to consult experts for their professional advice on 25 advisory areas, including setting up business, marketing, legal and accounting matters. SME Centre SME Centre under the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) offers a comprehensive business library, meeting areas, function rooms and business support services. In association with various partner organisations, including industry organisations, chambers of commerce and Consulates in Hong Kong, the HKTDC provides a free business advisory service for SMEs to capitalise on trade-related business opportunities.The HKTDC Transformation Sandbox (T-box) is a SME support programme that helps SMEs enhance business competitiveness and achieve transformation goals in the areas of branding, e-commerce, manufacturing and supply chain solutions and new markets. Dedicated T-box staff will work with SMEs to identify goals and provide support over a three-month period, with group and individualised services, including advisory services, workshops, government-funding information, market knowledge and networking opportunities. The programme is offered free of charge and is open to all companies registered in Hong Kong. SME One SME One under the Hong Kong Productivity Council strives to facilitate local SMEs and startups to sustain their businesses’ competitiveness by providing to startups and inventors various supports, timely assistance and comprehensive information on market insights, technology transformation and government funding schemes, through its Inno Space and InnoPreneur Network. Assistance provided includes Meet with New Faces, eClinics, Seminars/Workshops/Study Missions and O2O Platform to showcase Tech and Business Solutions. TecONE TecONE under the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) provides detailed information on various funding schemes and indepth advisory services (in particular technology-related programmes under the funding schemes of HKSTP or the HKSAR Government), including professional guidance on the application of the funding schemes. Other topical contentInformation and services under the cluster "Support for SMEs" of the SME Link are categorised by subjects under a customer-oriented approach, comprising "Government Funding Schemes", "Non-financial Assistance", "Startups", "Mainland Market" and "Overseas Markets", facilitating SMEs to search for useful information and services in a more systematic way.
Five key survey findings on the development of startups
According to the 2021 Startup Survey released by Invest Hong Kong, Hong Kong's startup ecosystem remains vibrant despite the ongoing economic challenges of the global pandemic. Let’s go through the survey results. 1. Record high in the total number of startups The overall number of startups in the city reached a record high of 3,755, up 68% over 2017. 2. Number of employees recruited by startups bounced back The number of staff hired by startups in 2021 surged 29% to 13,804 persons, despite a year-on-year drop of 14% was recorded in 2020. 3. Continuous growth in locations of co-working spaces/incubators/accelerators Since 2017, the number of co-working spaces/incubators/accelerators has doubled, up from 62 to 124 in 2021. 4. Increase in non-local talents In 2021, the percentage of non-local startup founders has increased 2% to 28%. 20.5% of them were from Mainland China. 5. Most startups are engaged in the financial technology sector The financial technology sector ranks the top in terms of number of startups in 2021 with 472 such companies. The continued rise of digital behaviour has also fuelled specific startup growth in sectors such as the e-commerce and supply chain & logistics technology sector, in which the number of startups companies in the sector has increased from 385 in 2020 to 432 in 2021. Interested in starting your own business in one of the fast-growing industries? Here below are some useful resources: Startup How-Tos: How to prepare for my entrepreneurship? Startup How-Tos: Three pillars of e-commerce Reference: Invest Hong Kong’s 2021 Startup Survey
Youth Entrepreneurship Series: Samson, Co-founder of Gradient Brewery
“Start your own business at younger ages if you are passionate about it.” Gradient Brewery is a local craft beer brand which has a retail store in Sai Yun Pun. It also supplies craft beers to local restaurants and retail stores. Samson, co-founder of Gradient Brewery, is the brewer and the marketer of the brand. He had planned to develop overseas markets when he founded the Brewery. Nevertheless, the business sales plunged due to COVID-19 and there was insufficient cash flow for expansion. Samson and other co-founders had little time to rest, not to mention a halt in their income for more than half a year. Yet, with confidence, perseverance and funding support, Gradient Brewery has overcome its challenges. Let’s watch the video below to learn more about Samson’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: 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 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 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 YES Training Institute 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 YES Training Institute
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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