Funding Schemes for Enterprises
The following schemes are available for enterprises:
- SME Loan Guarantee
SME Loan Guarantee aims to aid small startups by lending capital to business owners or entrepreneurs for business installations or equipment. . In February 2020, the Finance Committee in Hong Kong announced that a 100% Loan Guarantee will be part of the SME financing scheme. The loan is set aside to help those businesses that are struggling to foot their business expenses during this COVID-19 pandemic period. One of the benefits of this scheme is that it helps in covering 100% of the employees’ wages and rent for a period of 6 months.
For you to be eligible for any of the loan guarantees mentioned above, you must have a legally incorporated business in Hong Kong. However, lending institutions and their affiliates are not eligible for the scheme.
- How do I apply for the SME loan?
If you are interested and eligible for the loan, you should directly contact the lenders to apply for these programs. The List of lenders can be obtained from HKMC Insurance Limited.
- SME Financing Guarantee Scheme
The scheme helps small enterprises and other non-listed enterprises to obtain additional financing from the participating lenders for meeting their business needs.
Who is eligible for the financing scheme?
All enterprises who are registered in Hong Kong are permitted to apply for the loan scheme. However, the loan scheme is not given to lending institutions and their affiliates.
- Sustainable Development Fund
Sustainable Development Fund was established in Hong Kong with a total of $100 million that was aimed to help in offering financial support to the organizations that promote:
1. Public understanding of the importance of advancing both economic and social environment in the long-term in an integrated and balanced manner.
2. Constant practices that are consistent with the principles of sustainability.
3. Public participation in the organization, which includes discussing and implementing, Hong Kong’s long-term development plans.The fund is primarily set aside to help organizations that aim at encouraging the Hong Kong citizens to meet the present needs’ solution without interfering with the future generations.
A policy that was addressed by the Chief Executive opined that there is a need for the community to work in partnership to achieve sustainable a collective and desirable development by:
a. Seeking the best ways to increase prosperity while improving the quality of life while reducing unfriendly environmental activities like pollution and waste.
b. Meeting the present needs without interfering with the future generations’ prospects.
c. Reducing the environmental burden that is placed on the neighbors while helping in the preservation of the common resources.
Application for Sustainable Development Fund
The following can apply for a sustainable development fund;
Organizations that include non-governmental and community organizations, Hong Kong’s ordinary residents who are aged 18 years and above. Anyone who is applying for a grant can as well collaborate with other persons when compiling the project proposal. Besides, the applicant if the development fund can submit more than a single application at any given time. However, they will be required to indicate a clear priority during such multiple applications. The application process is simple and straightforward. Applicants must fill the application form which can be obtained from the Hong Kong government’s website. The duly filled application can either sent via email to email@example.com or it can as well be dropped at the physical offices and addressed to;
The SDF Secretariat Sustainable Development Division
46/F, Revenue Tower
5 Gloucester Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Within two weeks of application, the SDF Secretariat will acknowledge the receipt of the applications. After that, the SDF Secretariat will screen the applications to ascertain that they are all in-line with broad funding criteria and will then forward the application to the Vetting Committee (VC). To understand all the details of the application, an applicant will be expected to provide supplementary information or to present their proposal to the VC. As long as all the information that is provided to the SDF Secretariat is relevant, then the applicants will be informed of their outcome within six months of application. Any successful applicant would then be expected to agree with the government of Hong Kong. The agreement together with the application guidelines and budget will be sent to the successful applicant in writing by the Hong Kong government.
Market Development/ Business Upgrading
Some of the government funding aim at improving marketing strategies and the upgrading of the business. They include: SME Export Marketing Fund and Branding Funds. Let us look at these two types of HK government funding incentives in detail.
- SME Export Marketing Fund
The primary benefit of this type of HK government funding is to encourage small enterprises to expand their marketing beyond the HK market. It helps upcoming businesses to capture a large market base by ensuring that they participate in the promotion activities of marketing. All the SMEs in Hong Kong can participate or apply for this funding.
- Branding Fund/ Upgrading and Domestic Sales Fund
This is another type of Hong Kong government funding that targets individual enterprises in Hong Kong to enable them to undertake projects that aim at developing their brands. Besides, it permits them to upgrade and restructure their business operations as well as the process of sales promotion. The funding aims at helping such enterprises to expand their availability to Mainland China and FTA to give them competitive advantages when operating their businesses.
Funding to support Research and Development
- Innovation and Technology Support Programme
The other funding or incentive in Hong Kong that the government gives aims at promoting innovation and technology. The funding targets the supports research and development projects that are undertaken by the designated local and public research institutes. If you are operating a local public research institute in Hong Kong then you can apply for this funding scheme.
- Partnership Research Programme
The program aids at supporting the research and development projects that are being undertaken by the private companies in conjunction with local higher institutes of learning and other public research institutions. The program can benefit locally incorporated companies or other industry support organizations. Research organizations in Hong Kong can apply for this funding scheme to help them to expand their research ability and prowess to increase their research programs.
The special 100% Loan Guarantee in Hong Kong is applicable to businesses and companies that fall under any sector. The 100% loan guarantee is fully guaranteed by the government of Hong Kong. The eligibility is any startup or business in Hong Kong irrespective of the industry.
In summary, like any other country, Hong Kong has undergone a financial crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the government of HK strives to resolve or minimize the economic hardship by offering funding and incentives to both start-ups and other forms of businesses. The process of applying for the incentives and HK government funding is simple and Paul Hype Page is a trusted consultation company that can help you sail through the application process as well as inform you of the eligibility depending on the industry and the funding that you wish to get.
Guide to HK Government Funding and Incentives for Entrepreneurs FAQs
The application for government subsidy in Hong can be done via online platforms through the ESS (Employment Support Scheme) government site. During the application, employers are not expected to provide their MPF (Mandatory Provident Fund) record certificates
Industries that qualify for government funding are:
- Creative industry
- Enterprises industry
- Market Development/ Business Upgrading
- Research and Development sector
- Facilitation of Technology Adoption
Some of the HK government funding schemes that exist in Hong Kong include:
- Anti-Epidemic Fund
- Fund aiming at supporting Research & Development
- Nurturing Tech Talent Pool
- Government Co-investment with Private VCs
- Facilitating Technology Adoption/ Patent Application Grant
- SMEs Loan Guarantee
These are but a few examples of HK government funding schemes that can benefit Hong Kong citizens and businesses.
Yes, all enterprises and individuals can obtain HK government funding and incentives for their business as long as they correctly do their application and meet the requirements.