The Hong Kong Government’s support for SMEs and startups aims to help transfer your business vision into reality and take your business to the next level. There are a number of government funding schemes available to support your business.

Information Source: GovHK

Improve Productivity


To subsidise local non-listed enterprises and organisations on the use of technological services and solutions to improve productivity, upgrade or transform their business processes, in order to enhance their long-term competitiveness.






Max. 75% of the total approved project cost (cumulative ceiling per enterprise/organisation at HK$600,000).



All non-listed companies / organisations / statutory bodies registered in Hong Kong with substantive business operation in Hong Kong and not government subvented.


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Research and Development Funding Opportunities


Launched in 2015, ESS aims to provide funding support for local companies to conduct in-house research and development (R&D) work with a view to encouraging the private sector to invest in R&D.



A company will be eligible to apply if it –

  • is incorporated in Hong Kong;
  • has a current business registration certificate;
  • is not a government subvented organisation; and
  • is not a subsidiary of any government subvented organisation.


Key Features

  • Provides on a dollar-for-dollar matching basis.
  • Maximum Funding Support: $10 million per approved project.
  • Maximum Project Duration: 24 months in general.
  • Intellectual Property Rights Ownership: recipient company.
  • Recoupment of Government’s Contribution: NOT required.
  • Benefit Sharing of Commercialised R&D Results: NOT mandatory.


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Launched in September 2004, TCFS aims to enhance the level of collaboration on research and development (R&D) among universities, research institutes and technology enterprises in Hong Kong and Guangdong/Shenzhen.


The lead applicant must be an R&D Centre1 or a designated local public research institute2. The industry co-applicant for collaborative projects can be either a company incorporated in Hong Kong under the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622); or an industry support organisation, a trade and industry association or professional body which has the legal capacity to enter into contracts.


Key Features
Support platform and collaborative R&D projects with an element of Hong Kong and Guangdong or Hong Kong and Shenzhen cooperation.

Three categories of projects under TCFS:
Category A: projects solicited, vetted and funded solely by Hong Kong.
Category B: projects solicited, vetted and funded solely by Guangdong or Shenzhen.
Category C: projects jointly solicited and funded by Guangdong and Hong Kong (Category C1) or Shenzhen and Hong Kong (Category C2). R&D work of the projects must be conducted in both Hong Kong and Guangdong or Shenzhen.

Maximum Project Duration: 24 months.
Industry Sponsorship: at least 10% of the total project cost for platform projects; at least 50% of the total project cost for collaborative projects.
Intellectual Property (IP) Rights Ownership: lead applicant for platform projects; industry co-applicant for collaborative projects if it contributes at least 50% of the total project cost.

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Launched in November 1999, ITSP (Platform & Seed) aims to support applied research and development (R&D) projects undertaken by R&D Centres1 or designated local public research institutes2 with a view to transferring the R&D results to local industries.



The lead applicant must be an R&D Centre1 or a designated local public research institute2.

Key Features

  • Support platform R&D projects and seed projects.
  • Platform projects: industry-oriented applied R&D projects with potential for commercialisation.
    • Maximum Project Duration: 24 months.
    • Industry Sponsorship: at least 10% of the total project cost.
  • Seed projects: exploratory and forward-looking in nature.
    • Maximum Funding Support: HK$2.8 million undertaken by R&D Centres1; HK$1.4 million undertaken by other applicants.
    • Maximum Project Duration: 18 months.
    • Industry Sponsorship: NOT mandatory.
  • Intellectual Property (IP) Rights Ownership: lead applicant.


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Creativity and Design Funding Opportunities

The CSI will fund projects with objectives that are in line with our strategic directions to drive the development of the creative industries, namely:

Nurturing talents and facilitating start-ups;

Exploring markets; and

Promoting Hong Kong as Asia’s creative capital and fostering a creative atmosphere in the community.


Applicants should normally be locally registered institutions / organisations, including local academic institutes, industry support Organisations, trade and industry associations, professional bodies, research institutes and companies (The applicant should be a body or company established or incorporated under the Hong Kong laws including the Companies Ordinance (Cap.32)). CreateHK and other Government departments are also eligible to apply.

Project elements which are covered under the scope of Film Development Fund, Film Guarantee Fund, and other dedicated Government funding schemes, and those which will receive or have received funding from other Government or known sources will NOT be considered.


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Market Development Funding Opportunities

To provide funding support for individual non listed Hong Kong enterprises to undertake projects to develop brands, upgrade and restructure their business operations and promote sales in the Mainland and FTA/IPPA markets, so as to enhance their competitiveness and facilitate their business development in the Mainland and FTA/IPPA markets.




Up to HK$1 million (cumulative ceiling per enterprise at HK$7 million).


All non-listed enterprises registered in Hong Kong under the Business Registration Ordinance (Chapter 310) with substantive business operations in Hong Kong.


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Social Innovation Funding Opportunities


To establish or support schemes and experiments with a view to attracting, inspiring or nurturing social entrepreneurship to develop innovations that aim at creating social impact and build social capital for supporting poverty relief in Hong Kong.



The SIE Fund intends to benefit members of the public in Hong Kong who are generally residents of Hong Kong without conditions of stay and in need of assistance in poverty alleviation and prevention of social exclusion such as the elderly, children and youth, persons with disabilities, people of diverse race, single-parent families, new arrivals, low income families, and other segments of the community in Hong Kong with limited access to education and opportunities. The aim is to bring hope, dignity and self-worth through providing them with appropriate services/products.



The operation of the SIE Fund will be guided by the following principles –

social innovation is the focus, not social enterprise per se;
the scope of the Fund should remain flexible for more effective delivery of results in the light of actual experience;
focus on innovative ideas to alleviate and prevent poverty;
risk assessment is important while promoting innovation so as to maintain the prudent use of public money; and
no overlapping with other existing public funding.


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