The Home Affairs Bureau and the Commission on Youth (CoY) have launched the Youth Development Fund (YDF). The YDF, operating in the form of a matching fund, will work with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to help young people start their own business, and support NGOs to organise innovative youth development projects not covered by existing schemes. Applicants must be NGOs established or registered under the laws of Hong Kong. The YDF will provide NGOs a "grant with conditions" and the matching ratio of the YDF to the funding from the NGO itself will be capped at 2:1. YDF will comprise the Entrepreneurship Matching Fund (EMF) and funding for "Innovative Youth Development Projects".
The maximum amount of funding under EMF to each approved NGO is capped at $3 million while the financial assistance under the EMF to each young entrepreneurship applicant is up to $300,000. The approved NGO shall also have to provide each young entrepreneurship applicant with a financial support of no less than half of the funding from the EMF to such applicant. Each NGO entrepreneurship project can provide young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35 with financial assistance for a maximum of three years. Young entrepreneurship applicants are not limited to first-time business starters.
In addition, the YDF will provide funding support for NGOs to organise "Innovative Youth Development Projects" not covered by existing funding schemes. These projects do not necessarily relate to entrepreneurship. The minimum funding for each project is $200,000 while the funding ceiling is $1 million.
A working group established under the CoY will be responsible for vetting the applications and related matters. For successful applicant organisations under the EMF, their entrepreneurship projects are required to focus on inspiring and nurturing young people to have entrepreneurship, enabling them to contact and interact with different people, acquire various kinds of knowledge and gain valuable experience, as well as helping them solve problems during the course of their start-ups. "Innovative Youth Development Projects" shall relate to youth development and be innovative in terms of forms and details. Moreover, the projects must be able to help encourage young people to be innovative and should be effective and influential to a certain extent so that participants can benefit from them.
The EMF and the funding support for "Innovative Youth Development Projects" are now open for applications. The deadline for applications is 20 September 2016. It is expected that the list of successful applicant organisations will be released by the end of January 2017. Young people who are interested in starting their own business or wish to participate in innovative activities are invited to browse this website for updated announcements.
For details of the funding programmes, please refer to the relevant Guides to Application. Application forms and related documents are also available for download.