GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

The Hong Kong Government is committed to supporting startups and SMEs to help realize their vision and take their business to the next level. Find out about government funding schemes available to assist your business.

Bodies Supporting Startups

CREATE HONG KONG

The CreateHK is a dedicated agency set up under the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau on 1 June 2009 to lead, champion and drive the development of the creative economy in Hong Kong. It co-ordinates Government policy and effort regarding creative industries, focuses Government’s resources catering for the promotion and speeding up of the development of creative industries in Hong Kong, and works closely with the trade to boost the development of creative industries.

CYBERPORT

Cyberport is a creative digital community with a cluster of technology and digital content tenants. With a vision to establish itself as a leading information and communications technology (ICT) hub in the Asia-Pacific region, Cyberport is committed to facilitating the local economy by nurturing ICT industry start-ups and entrepreneurs, driving collaboration to pool resources and create business opportunities, and acceleratingICT adoption through strategic initiatives and partnerships.

E&M InnoPortal

In line with the directive of 2017 Policy Address on development of Innovation and Technology (I&T) in Hong Kong, EMSD launches E&M InnoPortal which is a platform for I&T collaboration and maintains a list of the technology development needs of various government departments, public bodies and the E&M trade. We warmly welcome universities and start-ups etc. to provide E&M related innovation and technology for putting on the platform for matching. We will provide venues for trial of suitable projects, conduct prototype testing and pilot project in a collaborative way, and upload validated performance reports of trial cases to the platform for sharing with the public with a view to jointly promoting and driving the R&D and application of E&M related innovation and technology.

FINTECH HONG KONG

More than anywhere else in the region, Hong Kong offers a rock-solid base, with its legal system, financial and professional services, talent pool and quality of life. In the spirit of a previous famous line, this is “one small step for a company, one giant LEAP for its business.” Having launched in Hong Kong, fintech companies are encouraged to embrace what the city has to offer and then take the leap to grow and expand outward, both technologically with the local resources available, into China and elsewhere in Asia.

Fintech Supervisory Sandbox

The Fintech Supervisory Sandbox (FSS), launched by the HKMA in September 2016, allows banks and their partnering technology firms (tech firms) to conduct pilot trials of their fintech initiatives involving a limited number of participating customers without the need to achieve full compliance with the HKMA’s supervisory requirements. This arrangement enables banks and tech firms to gather data and user feedback so that they can make refinements to their new initiatives, thereby expediting the launch of new technology products, and reducing the development cost.

HKTDC SME Centre

Located at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the HKTDC SME Centre provides you with all the resources you need to do business. Spanning 16,000 sq ft over two levels, our centralised resource and interactive service centre offers a comprehensive business library, meeting areas, function rooms, state-of-the-art facilities and business support services. It also serves as a one-stop shop for HKTDC to introduce comprehensive services in export marketing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Whether you are a new SME start-up or an established business looking for solid business contacts, up-to-date business information on overseas markets, latest industry trends and more, you will find them all here.

An array of workshops, business matching and networking activities are also held at the HKTDC SME Centre throughout the year to help you gain new business contacts and grow your business.

HONG KONG DESIGN CENTRE

As the Hong Kong government’s advisor on design, Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) sets its mission to champion design’s many possibilities, to constantly remind our community what great, intelligent designs can achieve and to lead the way for our next generation of designers.

HONG KONG PRODUCTIVITY COUNCIL

The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) is a multi-disciplinary organization. It promotes productivity excellence through the provision of integrated support across the value chain of Hong Kong firms, in order to achieve a more effective utilization of resources, to enhance the value-added content of products and services, and to increase international competitiveness.

HONG KONG R&D CENTRES

The Hong Kong R&D Centre Programme is the core initiative driven by the Innovation and Technology Commission of HKSAR Government with the aim to harness Hong Kong’s advantages in applied research, intellectual property protection, business-friendly environment and proximity to the manufacturing based in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, to thrive as a regional technology service hub.

HONG KONG SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY PARK

Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) is a statutory body that has one simple goal – to transform Hong Kong into the regional hub for innovation and technology development.

A hub that will diversify and grow the city’s economy, expand employment opportunities across a multitude of industries, raise Hong Kong’s status as a global powerhouse to a new level, foster talent and interest in STEM as well as offer them highly-sought-after tech careers, and most importantly, help create a sustainable world and brighter future for the younger generation.

HONG KONG TRADE DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) offers a variety of platforms and business-matching services, connecting small and medium-sized enterprises in Hong Kong with business partners from all over the world. The HKTDC’s website will be useful for startups to find materials such as economic and policy analysis, global market information, and trade fairs.

HK Startup Society exists to serve Hong Kong’s startup entrepreneurs in their quest to achieve startup success through a wealth of exclusively curated content provided by an elite group of startup entrepreneurs around the world. Their platform provides a collection of resources created by established startup entrepreneurs exclusively for startups to benefit from their experience and wisdom.

Insurtech Sandbox

The IA observes that authorized insurers may have initiatives in applying innovative technologies in their business operations but may be uncertain if those initiatives can meet the supervisory requirements of the IA. With a view to promoting technology development for the insurance industry in Hong Kong, the IA considers it necessary to adopt some flexibility in the supervisory requirements.

The IA would consider an Insurtech initiative to be a pilot run under the Sandbox to collect sufficient data to demonstrate to the IA that such Insurtech application can broadly meet relevant supervisory requirements arising from its codes and guidelines and other regulatory practices.

INVEST HONG KONG

Invest Hong Kong works with overseas and Mainland entrepreneurs, SMEs and multinationals that wish to set up an office – or expand their existing business – in Hong Kong. It offers free advice and services to support companies from the planning stage right through to the launch and expansion of their business.

SFC Regulatory Sandbox

The SFC Regulatory Sandbox (Sandbox) is established to provide a confined regulatory environment for qualified firms to operate regulated activities under the SFO before Fintech is used on a fuller scale. The Sandbox would enable qualified firms, through close dialogue with and supervision by the SFC under the licensing regime, to readily identify and address any risks or concerns relevant to their regulated activities.

Smart Government Innovation LAB (Smart LAB)

The Smart LAB provides a platform to connect government departments with the information technology (IT) sector, particularly local start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to help departments leverage on the innovation and technical solutions from the industry to formulate innovative measures for enhancing the quality and efficiency of public services.

SME One

Located at the ground floor of Hong Kong Productivity Council with a total area of 4,000 square feet, SME One “中小企一站通” sets to provide comprehensive information in relations to various government industry support funding schemes, market financial proposals and latest IT solutions pertinent to enhanced operation and efficiency to SMEs.

Support and Consultation Centre for SMEs (SUCCESS)

Support and Consultation Centre for Small and Medium Enterprises (中小企業支援與諮詢中心 in Chinese), is known as SUCCESS in short. SUCCESS is run by the Trade and Industry Department in collaboration with various industrial and trade organisations, professional bodies, private enterprises and other Government departments to provide small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with business information and consultation services free of charge.

tecone

TecONE is the one-stop business support centre jointly run by Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC). Located at Science Park, TecONE provides technology SME with comprehensive advisory services. Talks and activities are organised to facilitate technology SME to learn more about various funding resources available in the community, and to get connected with industry partners for collaboration opportunities which catalyse their growth.

Trade and Industry Department

Based on Hong Kong’s free trade policy and our strengths as an open economy, Trade and Industry Department works to facilitate and support the development of trade and industry in Hong Kong.

Government Funding Schemes

BUD FUND

To help SMEs, including start-ups, grasp economic opportunities and boost their competitiveness, the 2018-19 Budget proposed to extend the geographical scope of the BUD Fund to include the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) markets by launching the “ASEAN Programme”, and to increase the cumulative funding ceiling per enterprise for projects involving the Mainland China Market (the “Mainland Programme”).  The Finance Committee of the Legislative Council approved the enhancement proposal and funding injection of $1.5 billion in June 2018.

Chinese Medicine Development Fund

The Chinese Medicine Development Fund comprises of two parts, namelythe Enterprise Support Scheme (ESP) and the Industry Support Scheme (ISP). There are four funding schemes under ESP, including funding scheme for “Chinese Medicine Individual Training and Chinese Medicine Clinics Improvement Funding Scheme”, the “Proprietary Chinese Medicine Quality and Manufacturing System enhancement Funding Scheme”, the “Proprietary Chinese Medicine Registration Supporting Scheme” and the “Chinese Medicine Warehouse Management and Logistics Improvement Funding Scheme”. The ISP is divided into two projects, including “Chinese Medicine Industry Training Funding Scheme & Chinese Medicine Promotion Funding Scheme” and the “Chinese Medicine Applied Studies and Research Funding Scheme”.

Construction Innovation and Technology Fund (CITF)

The CITF will be used to support technologies (including machinery, equipment and software) with proven effectiveness in boosting productivity, uplifting built quality, improving site safety or enhancing environmental performance, through leveraging automation, industrialization and digitization rather than sheer innovative management practices.

CreateSmart Initiative (CSI)

In 2009, the Government established the HK$300 million CreateSmart Initiative (CSI) to provide financial support to initiatives that are conducive to the development and promotion of creative industries in Hong Kong. Over the years, a total of HK$2 billion has been injected into CSI.

Starting from 1 June 2011, CSI also accepts applications for design-related projects. More details and online application for design-related projects are available at the website of CreateSmart Initiative Design Support.

Innovation and Technology Fund

The Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF), administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission, aims to increase the added value, productivity and competitiveness of our economic activities. The Government hopes that, through the ITF, Hong Kong companies could be encouraged and assisted to upgrade their technological level and introduce innovative ideas to their businesses.

 

There are several different programmes under the ITF.

INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY FUND FOR BETTER LIVING

The Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living (“FBL”) is a scheme for funding innovation and technology (“I&T”) projects which will make people’s daily living more convenient, comfortable and safer, or address the needs of specific community groups.

PATENT APPLICATION GRANT

The Patent Application Grant (the Grant) is a funding scheme to assist local companies and individuals to apply for patents of their own inventions. The Grant is administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission with Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) as the implementation agent.

Recycling Fund

The Recycling Fund comprises two parts, namely the Enterprise Support Programme (ESP) and Industry Support Programme (ISP). The former provides funding support for individual Hong Kong enterprises to upgrade and expand their waste recycling operations in Hong Kong. The latter provides funding support for non-profit distributing organisations (NPOs), such as professional bodies, trade and industry organisations, research institutes and other industrial support organisations registered in Hong Kong to undertake non-profit making projects which can assist the local recycling industry in general or in specific sectors in enhancing their operational standards and productivity.

Recycling Fund – New and Start-up Enterprises

In response to the needs and development trend of the recycling industry, theme-based schemes are introduced under the Recycling Fund to facilitate the industry to upgrade its operational capabilities and efficiency for sustainable development.

Retail Technology Adoption Assistance Scheme (ReTAAS)

The Government sets aside $50 million for Retail Technology Adoption Assistance Scheme for Manpower Demand Management (ReTAAS) to help the retail industry to adopt relevant information and communications technology and other technologies that help manage manpower demand.

Sustainable Agricultural Development Fund

The Sustainable Agricultural Development Fund (SADF) is designed to support practical, application-oriented projects, schemes or research work that would help farmers enhance their productivity and output, as well as contribute to fostering the sustainable development and enhancing the overall competitiveness of the agricultural industry.

Sustainable Fisheries Development Fund

The Fund aims to help the local fishing community move towards sustainable or high value-added operations so that the trade can enhance its overall competitiveness and cope with new challenges.

THE SOCIAL INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT FUND (SIE FUND)

The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund), as a catalyst for social innovation in Hong Kong, connects our community with different sectors, including businesses, NGOs, academics and philanthropies to create social impact through innovative solutions that address poverty and social exclusion. Mostly through intermediaries, the Fund provides visionary individuals and organisations with diverse resources in support of research, capacity building and the entire life cycle of innovative ventures, from idea incubation and seed funding to implementation and eventual scale-up. The ultimate goal is to foster an ecosystem where social entrepreneurs can thrive and innovative ideas, products and services can benefit society by meeting underserved needs, unleashing underutilised talents and more.

Trade and Industry Department Funding Schemes

These schemes help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong secure financing for acquiring business installations and equipment, and meeting working capital needs; expand overseas markets; and enhance the overall competitiveness of Hong Kong enterprises in general or in specific sectors.

Youth Development Fund

The Youth Development Fund aims at supporting youth entrepreneurship and youth development activities through collaboration with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including working with NGOs in the form of a matching fund to help young people start their own business. The Youth Development Commission rolled out in March 2019 the Funding Scheme for Experiential Programmes at Innovation and Entrepreneurial Bases in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Funding Scheme for Youth Entrepreneurship in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The schemes aim at subsidising Hong Kong NGOs to provide start-up assistance and incubation services that befit the needs of young people who are about to start their businesses in Hong Kong and in other cities of the Greater Bay Area, including helping them settle in entrepreneurial bases and further helping them meet their initial capital needs.

Others

Enhanced tax deduction for R&D Expenditures

In the 2017 Policy Address, the Chief Executive announced that enhanced tax deduction will be provided for expenditure incurred by enterprises on “qualifying research and development (R&D) activities” in order to encourage more enterprises to conduct R&D activities in Hong Kong. The deduction will be 300% for the first $2 million of the aggregate amount of payments made to “designated local research institutions”(DLRI) for “qualifying R&D activities” and “qualifying expenditures” incurred by the enterprises, and 200% for the remaining amount. There is no cap on the amount of enhanced tax deduction.

HONG KONG EXPORT CREDIT INSURANCE

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation was established in 1966 under the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation Ordinance (Chapter 1115). It was created by statute with the aim of encouraging and supporting export trade by providing Hong Kong exporters with insurance protection against non-payment risks arising from commercial and political events. Its contingent liability under contracts of insurance is guaranteed by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, with the statutory maximum liability currently standing at $55 billion. The Corporation is required to operate in accordance with the requirements laid down in the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation Ordinance and to pursue a policy directed towards securing revenue sufficient to meet all expenditure properly chargeable to its revenue account. It is a ‘public body’ under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. ECIC staff are not permitted to accept any advantages from ECIC customers. Anybody offering any advantages to ECIC staff in connection with official business commits an offence.

MICROFINANCE SCHEME

The Scheme aims to offer Micro Business Start-up Loans, Self-employment Loans and Self-enhancement Loans to assist people who wish to start their own businesses, become self-employed or achieve self-enhancement through training, upgrading of skills or obtaining professional certification.

The Scheme will provide supporting services including mentorship and referral to entrepreneurial training to entrepreneurs and self-employed persons as required in order to enhance their ability in running business and also help them to resolve problems in their daily business operations.

SME FINANCING GUARANTEE SCHEME

The Scheme aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and non-listed enterprises to obtain financing from participating lenders for meeting their working capital and business needs so as to enhance their productivity and competitiveness in the rapidly changing business environment.

Space Sharing Scheme for Youth (SSSY)

The Space Sharing Scheme for Youth (SSSY) is premised upon tripartite collaboration among the business sector, non-government organisations (NGOs) and the Government. Owners of revitalised industrial buildings and commercial buildings are invited to contribute floor areas for the operation of co-working space or studios to support young people. SSSY has received wide support and positive feedback from a great number of property owners, with properties distributed across Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan, Wong Chuk Hang, Lai Chi Kok, Wan Chai and other districts. Some of the properties are operated by NGOs , while some are run by the property owners themselves.

Talent List Hong Kong

In the official website of the Talent List of Hong Kong. You can find all useful information on what professions are the talents that Hong Kong needs most, the immigration facilitation for qualified talents and why Hong Kong is your most ideal destination.

Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS)

TechTAS is a three-year pilot scheme which provides a fast-track arrangement for eligible technology companies/institutes to admit overseas and Mainland technology talent to undertake R&D work for them. Under the pilot scheme, tenants and incubatees of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC) and Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited (Cyberport) that are engaged in the areas of biotechnology, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, robotics, data analytics, financial technologies and material science are eligible for application.

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