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SME Finance

The Hong Kong SAR Government offers different types of loans and funding schemes to support and promote the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong.

BUD Fund (Enterprise Support Programme)
This Enterprise Support Programme provides funding support to individual Hong Kong enterprises in undertaking projects to develop brands, upgrade and restructure their business operations and promote sales in the Mainland market, so as to enhance their competitiveness and facilitate their business development in the Mainland market. With effect from 1 July 2018, the eligibility of the BUD "ESP EASY" has been relaxed to cover any non-listed enterprises registered in Hong Kong with substantive business operations.

Cleaner Production Partnership Programme

The Cleaner Production Partnership Programme aims to encourage and facilitate Hong Kong-owned factories in Hong Kong/Guangdong to adopt Cleaner Production technologies and practices. They could make positive contribution to a cleaner environment by reducing emissions. The factories can also improve competitiveness and corporate image as well as satisfying the Mainland's policy of industrial restructuring and upgrading.

CreateSmart Initiative
The CreateSmart Initiative (CSI) promotes and speeds up the development of local creative industries so as to build Hong Kong into Asia’s Creative Capital. The CSI aims at providing financial support to projects conducive to the development of creative industries in Hong Kong. It is administered by Create Hong Kong.  

Cyberport Creative Micro Fund
Cyberport Creative Micro Fund (CCMF) encourages innovation and creativity in Hong Kong. The programme sponsors high potential digital tech start-up projects and business ideas with a HK$100,000 grant. Participants use the grant over six months to produce proof of concepts and prototypes.

Design Incubation Programme
The Design Incubation Programme (DIP) aims to nurture design startup companies and help them to meet the challenges at the early and critical stage of development. Successful applicants of this two-year programme will enjoy a variety of support services including ready-to-use office, financial subsidies, business development and networking opportunities.

DesignSmart Initiative
The DesignSmart Initiative (DSI) provides funding support for design projects which aim to promote design as a value adding activity and for the Design Incubation Programme to nurture design start-ups.  

Film Development Fund
The Film Development Fund (FDF) aims to fund projects and activities which contribute towards the development of the Hong Kong film industry. In June 2016, the Government injected an additional funding of $20 million into the FDF to subsidise the expenses incurred by locally-produced Cantonese films for distribution and publicity conducted in the Mainland.

Innovation and Technology Fund
The Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) 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 different funding programmes under the ITF.

•    Enterprise Support Scheme
The Enterprise Support Scheme (ESS) is a major funding initiative under the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF), which is designed to encourage the private sector to invest in research and development (R&D).

•   General Support Programme
The General Support Programme (GSP) caters for non-R&D projects that contribute to the upgrading and development of our industries as well as fostering an innovation and technology culture in Hong Kong. Projects to be supported may include conferences, exhibitions, seminars, workshops, promotional events, studies and surveys, youth activities, events or projects to support platform building/upgrading of industry, etc.

     o   General Support Programme - Internship Programme
Under the Internship Programme, organisations undertaking research and development projects funded by Innovation and Technology Fund can recruit graduates from local universities as interns to assist in the R&D projects.

     o   General Support Programme - Patent Application Grant
The Patent Application Grant is a funding scheme to assist local companies and individuals to apply for patents of their own inventions. It aims to encourage local companies and inventors to capitalise their intellectual work through patent registration.

•    Innovation and Technology Support Programme
The Innovation and Technology Support Programme (ITSP) supports midstream/downstream R&D projects undertaken mainly by universities, R&D Centres, industry support organisations, professional bodies and trade and industry associations. This programme invites applications for funding every six months or so.     

      o    Guangdong-Hong Kong Technology Cooperation Funding Scheme
The Guangdong-Hong Kong Technology Cooperation Funding Scheme (TCFS) aims to enhance the level of collaboration on R&D between organisations in Hong Kong and Guangdong Province. Projects funded will have to demonstrate an element of Guangdong/Hong Kong cooperation (e.g. collaboration between research institutes and enterprises in Guangdong, Shenzhen and Hong Kong).

•    Research and Development Cash Rebate Scheme
The Research and Development (R&D) Cash Rebate Scheme aims to reinforce the research culture among private companies and to encourage them to establish stronger partnership with designated local public research institutions.

•    Technology Voucher Programme
Technology Voucher Programme (TVP) aims to subsidise local SMEs in using technological services and solutions to improve productivity, or upgrade or transform their business processes. The programme will be implemented on a pilot basis for an initial period of three years from November 2016 with HK$500 million from the Innovation and Technology Fund. Since 28 February 2018, the eligibility of TVP has been relaxed. An applicant enterprise is required to have substantive business operation in Hong Kong at the time of application instead of for a year. TVP is eligible to non-listed enterprises of all sizes instead of just for small and medium enterprises.

•    University-Industry Collaboration Programme
The University-Industry Collaboration Programme (UICP) aims to stimulate private sector interest in R&D through leveraging the knowledge and resources of universities. The emphasis is on close collaboration between private companies and universities in Hong Kong. There are three schemes under this programme: Teaching Company Scheme, Matching Grant for Joint Research and Industrial Research Chair Scheme.

Microfinance Scheme
The Microfinance Scheme offers 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 also provide supporting services including mentorship and referral to entrepreneurial training as required to enhance the ability of entrepreneurs and self-employed persons in running business.

New Technology Training Scheme
The New Technology Training Scheme aims to provide assistance to companies that wish to have their staff trained in a new technology that would be useful to their business. New technologies include those which are not widely applied in Hong Kong and the absorption and application of which will significantly benefit Hong Kong.

Patent Application Grant
The Patent Application Grant is a funding scheme to assist local companies and individuals to apply for patents of their own inventions. The grant aims to encourage local companies and inventors to capitalise their intellectual work through patent registration.

Retail Technology Adoption Assistance Scheme for Manpower Demand Management
Retail Technology Adoption Assistance Scheme for Manpower Demand Management (ReTAAS) provides funding support for eligible retail enterprises to adopt relevant information and communications technology and other technologies for manpower demand management purposes. It also helps enhance their productivity and improve working conditions of workers.  

SME Development Fund
The SME Development Fund (SDF) provides financial support to non-profit-distributing organisations to implement projects that aim to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong's SMEs in general or in specific sectors. Applicants should either be statutory organisations or organisations registered under the laws of Hong Kong SAR.

SME Export Marketing Fund
The SME Export Marketing Fund (EMF) aims to encourage SMEs to expand their markets outside Hong Kong by providing financial assistance to SMEs for participation in export promotion activities.

SME Financing Guarantee Scheme
The SME Financing Guarantee Scheme aims to help SMEs and non-listed enterprises obtain financing from participating lenders for meeting their working capital and business needs so as to enhance their productivity and competitiveness. The Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation may provide guarantee coverage of 50%, 60% or 70% to the approved facilities of eligible enterprises.  

SME Loan Guarantee Scheme
This scheme provides loan guarantee to SMEs to help them secure loans from the participating lending institutions for acquiring business installations and equipment or meeting working capital needs of general business uses.

Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development 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.  

Technology Business Incubation Programme
Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation provides a comprehensive package of assistance for technology start-ups. The Incubation Programme is split into three key areas, custom-made for startups in the fields of web and mobile technology, technology and biotechnology – Incu-App, Incu-Tech, and Incu-Bio.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research