The Government has all along been supportive of youth innovation and entrepreneurship and we hope our young people could aim high and explore opportunities beyond Hong Kong. The development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will bring about opportunities for our young entrepreneurs.
- The Government established the Youth Development Fund (YDF) in 2016, under which the Entrepreneurship Matching Fund (EMF) was set up to help young people start their own business in the form of a matching subsidy in collaboration with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) so that the young entrepreneurs may receive guidance from them and gain valuable experience and knowledge during the start-up process.
- To help Hong Kong young people grasp the opportunities brought about by the development of the Greater Bay Area, the Youth Development Commission rolled out two new funding schemes for Experiential Programmes at Innovation and Entrepreneurial Bases and for Youth Entrepreneurship in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in March 2019 to provide more relevant start-up support and incubation services to Hong Kong young people who intend to start their own businesses. Both schemes were met with enthusiasm and received applications from more than 40 NGOs.
Kick-off Ceremony for the New Funding Schemes under the Youth Development Fund
- The Government rolled out the Space Sharing Scheme for Youth in 2017, which is premised upon tripartite collaboration among the business sector, NGOs and the Government, as a platform for owners of revitalised industrial buildings and commercial buildings to contribute floor areas for the operation of co-working space or studios, to support start-ups of emerging industries and young people who are starting their own businesses, and to support the development of arts and culture. Participating owners will rent out floor areas to suitable NGOs at a rent no more than one-third of the market rental, or they may operate such space directly on their own. The operators will in turn provide a wide range of leasing options and supporting services for start-ups, young entrepreneurs and artists at a concessionary rent no higher than half of the market rental. Guidance provided by the operators for their young users include training support, mentorship programmes and incubation services to help with building their network, pairing up with investors, and to kindle their creative inspirations through exchanging ideas. The Government serves as an active facilitator through setting the parameters and basic terms of the Scheme, matching participants with operating agencies where necessary, as well as promoting the Scheme and its success stories through various channels.
Press conference on Space Sharing Scheme for Youth
- A ceremony was organised by the Guangdong and Hong Kong governments in Guangzhou to present a plaque to the first batch of 10 entrepreneurial bases in May 2019 further promote youth innovation and entrepreneurship in the Greater Bay Area. Both sides hope that this batch of entrepreneurial bases will take the lead in providing incubation service and quality support that suit the need of the youth of Hong Kong in starting up their business.
- The Guangdong Provincial Government published the notice on the strengthening of the implementation of the establishment of innovation and entrepreneurial bases for youths from Hong Kong and Macao on 20 May 2019. The strategy aims to speed up the opening of these bases and introduce facilitation measures to meet with their needs in working and living in Guangdong.
- The SAR Government also provides subsidy to NGOs in Hong Kong through the YDF, so that the NGOs may play the role of a guide and provide entrepreneurial support and incubation services to Hong Kong young people who intend to start their business in the Greater Bay Area, including helping them settle in relevant entrepreneurial bases.
- The Home Affairs Bureau has collaborated with the Hong Kong United Youth Association (HKUYA) for it to, using its own resources, roll out a pilot scheme to encourage Hong Kong young people to make good use of the entrepreneurial bases in the Greater Bay Area and explore opportunities therein. Under the pilot scheme, HKUYA has collaborated with three youth entrepreneurial bases in Shenzhen and provided a series of concessionary and supporting measures for the youth start-ups to settle in the entrepreneurial bases, hence lowering their threshold costs. At the same time, HKUYA has also provided entrepreneurial support and guidance to help youth entrepreneurs cope with difficulties arising from starting businesses in the Mainland, thereby lowering relevant risks. The pilot scheme was launched in December 2018 and has successfully recruited seven Hong Kong youth entrepreneurial teams to settle in the three youth entrepreneurial bases in Shenzhen and commence their entrepreneurship plans.
- The Government announced in the 2019 Policy Address that an Alliance of Hong Kong Youth Innovative and Entrepreneurial Bases in the Greater Bay Area will be established. Organisations from Guangdong and Hong Kong with strength and proven track record, such as innovative and entrepreneurial bases, universities, NGOs, scientific research institutes, professional bodies, venture funds, etc. will be invited to join the alliance and jointly set up a one-stop information, publicity and exchange platform to support Hong Kong youth entrepreneurs in the Greater Bay Area.
Plaque presentation ceremony for entrepreneurial bases in the Greater Bay Area