Breaking Barriers: A New Incubator Program Empowers Hong Kong Migrants in the UK Startup Scene


UK (Parliament Politic Magazine) – A business organization established by Hong Kongers in London is introducing a startup initiative aimed at assisting new Hong Kong migrants in establishing businesses in the United Kingdom.

The Hong Kong Business Hub, the driving force behind this endeavor, officially launched the program in London on August 8th. As part of this program, selected applicants will be granted a minimum equity investment of $64,000, with the total investment for the initiative exceeding $635,000.

The Program Seeks To Enpower Hong Kong Migrants 

This groundbreaking initiative seeks to empower and support Hong Kong migrants in their entrepreneurial pursuits within the UK. By providing substantial financial backing, the Hong Kong Business Hub aims to foster a conducive environment for these individuals to establish and grow their businesses successfully.

Puifung Leung, the co-founder and director of the Hong Kong Business Hub, has highlighted the growing interest in entrepreneurship among Hong Kongers who have relocated to the U.K. However, many of these individuals may not be well-versed in the local business landscape. 

This is particularly relevant as a significant number of the hub’s members and potential program participants fled Hong Kong following China’s crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony in 2019.

While these individuals may possess brilliant ideas, they often lack the necessary funds, experience, resources, and knowledge to bring their visions to life. Recognizing this need, the Hong Kong Business Hub aims to support these aspiring entrepreneurs through its startup training program. 

The Hubs Opens Doors For Communication 

By providing access to funding opportunities and facilitating direct introductions to investors, the hub enables participants to effectively communicate the reasons behind their funding requirements and showcase their products and services.

The hub has not disclosed the investor’s identity, as per Leung’s statement. The investor aims to offer support to entrepreneurs in Hong Kong from a discreet position.

Leung highlighted that the group will allocate ample time for aligning the involved parties.

“The investor and investees should have their introductory phase,” she explained. “Once they acquaint themselves, we take on the role of a facilitator. Following their familiarity, we assess the potential for a long-term partnership.”

The Hong Kong Business Hub noted that the program has backing from the Federation of Small Businesses and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Center Will Offer Assisstance For Establishing Connections 

Established in 2021, the center’s primary objective is to offer assistance, advance, and establish connections for Hong Kong entrepreneurs and enterprises that are expanding in the United Kingdom and the United States. 

Among the co-founders are Simon Shen, an expert in international relations at Taiwan’s National Sun Yat-sen University, as well as Patrick Woo, the former head of Microbiology Department at the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong.

Eric Yung, serving as the program director, explained that the investing party would secure a position on the startup’s board as part of the funding arrangement. While also providing potential access to networks and guidance, the investor would not engage in day-to-day operational matters.

The actual ownership percentage held by the investor would be negotiated with the selected candidate, typically not exceeding 20%, Yung clarified. Successful participants would have the opportunity to attend cost-free training and networking functions, facilitating interaction with potential investors, according to Yung.

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Application Program To Continue Till September 

The application period for the program will continue until September 17th. Eligible applicants should have established their companies in 2020 or beyond. The founding team must collectively own a minimum of 50% of the company’s shares, and among the founders, there must be a new migrant from Hong Kong who possesses at least 30% of the company’s shares.

A panel of judges will evaluate various business aspects and also take into account four additional criteria for potential extra points. These criteria encompass factors such as the business’s positive impact on the Hong Kong community and its alignment with the core values of the Hong Kong Business Hub. Successful candidates will be asked to contribute a 1% referral fee of the investment amount to the hub, which will be used to support the operational and developmental aspects of the program.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.