top of page

Exploring Funding Options for Hong Kong Startups

If you're a prospective entrepreneur planning to launch a startup in Hong Kong, you might wonder about the different funding options available. Launching a new business can be exciting, but funding is a critical factor that can make or break the venture.

This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the various types of startup funding available in Hong Kong. We'll explore funding options such as angel investors, venture capital firms, crowdfunding, government grants, and more.

By the end of this post, you should have a good grasp of the different startup funding options available in Hong Kong and how to access them. This knowledge can help you secure the funding you need to launch your startup successfully and turn your business idea into a profitable reality. Let's start with knowing about startup funding!

Funding Options for Hong Kong Startups

Startup funding in Hong Kong

Startup Funding in Hong Kong is critical to launching a successful business. Here is an overview of the startup funding available to entrepreneurs in Hong Kong looking to start their own businesses.

What is startup funding?

Startup funding is a company's money to launch or maintain a new venture. Financing comes in a wide variety of forms. Startups use these funds to pay for marketing, expansion, and startup costs.

A young firm may feel overwhelmed by the quantity and variety of funding choices. Let's discuss funding for hong kong startup types next so you can see what is available and how it fits with the objectives of your business.

Why is startup funding important?

Without a financial source, a company will fail from the strain of its own debt. A firm depends on funding to operate. A company can employ various methods, including more than one, to get money. The funding option will rely on the company's decision to incur debt, the owner's financial situation when the business is created, and the sum of money a business will require to start up and sustain itself through various events.

Types of startup funding

Here is the list of various options available for funding for hong kong startups:

1. Self Financing

39% of business owners use personal cash to launch their companies. To self-fund your startup, you must independently raise the necessary capital. This could entail setting aside money from your pocket, slowly establishing your firm, or operating within a limited budget. Here are some other self-financing methods:


Bootstrapping involves more than just leveraging personal cash to launch a company. Bootstrapped businesses use early startup income to maintain operations rather than looking for outside capital. Instead of giving shares to investors, it enables entrepreneurs to maintain control over their companies and avoid paying interest on loans. The negative? The creator may lose their savings or the savings of their friends and family if the firm fails.

Credit cards

Credit Cards can assist you in obtaining the resources you need to expand your startup and provide a cash reserve in case things don't go as planned. However, monitor interest rates, fees, and payments to prevent damage to your credit score as your company expands.


Bartering can be a helpful method to pay for large items like furniture, cell phones, or advertising for your firm. Startups that engage in bartering provide a beneficial commodity or service in exchange. Your network can grow, and operating costs can be reduced.

Client Commitment

Many startups get their foot in the door with a commitment from an early customer who sees their potential. In this case, the startup might be initially funded by the customer's payments only.

2. Crowdfunding

A way to raise money online via online platforms is through crowdfunding. While some websites already have an audience, many require you to create your following using your own marketing techniques. With this low-risk strategy, you may gain support and generate interest in your firm early on. Small enterprises can use websites for crowdsourcing to get money rapidly. Offering awards or forgoing equity in the company may be necessary to achieve these objectives. Throughout the process, it's crucial to maintain transparency regarding the state of your business.

Many firms are funded in the beginning by close friends and family. Crowdfunding can be a quick and easy option to ask your community to support your new business if you need clarification on asking for a loan.

3. Loans

Loans may also be used to finance your startup. With the funds, you can construct, renovate, improve, or reopen a business. The requirements you'll need to meet will change based on the lender, loan size, and the kind you take out.

You can also get a personal business loan with good credit and adequate personal cash. This kind of loan could have a shorter approval process. Furthermore, do your homework before borrowing. Several lenders have limitations in obtaining a loan for startup finance.

4. Grants

A grant is a sum of money given to a company by a nonprofit, for-profit company, or governmental body. As grants are gifts, they don't have to be paid back. These investments with a purpose are frequently very competitive. Your startup's goals and ideals must coincide with those of the organization you are applying to for you to be eligible for funding under numerous awards.

5. Private Equity Companies

Venture capitalists are drawn to high-growth businesses. Unlike other types of startup finance, there is a great deal of risk.

Investors won't receive a return on their capital contributions if a company collapses. Yet, if a business is successful, the reward may be in the millions. Private equity firms frequently serve as advisors or members of the startup's board. They have a stake in the company and will do everything possible to ensure its success.

6. Accelerators and incubators

Accelerators and incubators help to nurture growth for startups. Their ultimate aim is to support companies as they begin their journey in the business world. They generally provide educational resources, mentorship programs, funding options, networking opportunities and space for operation. These accelerators and incubators play an invaluable role by helping entrepreneurs to manage their finances correctly, and advice on strategic planning and legal processes so that their startup reaches its potential with greater ease and speed. Over the past few years, accelerators have become essential assets in launching successful startups.

Startup funding options in Hong Kong

Here are various funding options for entrepreneurs looking to launch a startup in Hong Kong. Let's have a look!

1. Cyberport Creative Micro Fund (CCMF)

A program called the Cyberport Creative Micro Fund offers assistance to businesses creating cutting-edge technological goods and/or services. The primary goals of the CCMF are to promote development, innovation, and creativity. Individuals or companies may apply for funding. An identity card issued in Hong Kong is required for candidates. To demonstrate that their limited company is located in Hong Kong, applicants for companies must show a certificate of incorporation.

To be eligible for the HK$100,000 CCMF grant, applicants must complete their projects within six months of being accepted into the program. Under the CCMF, there are four sub-programs:

  1. Specialized program

  2. Program for Young Entrepreneurs in the Greater Bay Area by Cyberport (Cyberport GBA YEP)

  3. Young Entrepreneur Program in Hong Kong (HKYEP)

  4. University of Cyberport Partnership Program (CUPP)


The Ideation program is made to foster and promote entrepreneurs with original ideas that have the potential to have a substantial positive social or economic effect. The Ideation program offers up to a year of support to entrepreneurs with a tech focus. Assistance comes from mentoring and instruction in areas like business modeling and Hong Kong's startup ecosystem.

3. Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund

The Alibaba Group established the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund as a venture philanthropy fund. The fund supports innovators and businesspeople in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The internet of things, big data, fintech, e-commerce, and logistics are a few of the popular industries that the fund invests in.

4. Youth Development Fund

The Hong Kong government offers a grant called the Youth Development Fund (YDF) to help young people start businesses. There are two different kinds of funding programs: one is for young entrepreneurs, and the other is for experimental programs at innovation and entrepreneurial bases. The YDF program provides services for youth incubation, including market development and expert counseling. Together with commercial networking assistance, the program helps entrepreneurs establish headquarters in Hong Kong.

5. CreateSmart Initiative (CSI)

A program called the CreateSmart Initiative (CSI) offers money and assistance to new businesses in the creative industry. Creative Hong Kong founded CSI in June 2009 and is under its management. The strategic goals of CSI include market research, supporting businesses while developing talent, and fostering a creative environment in Hong Kong. CSI provides funding for both design and non-design projects. Projects that can be sponsored by other government financing programs, including the Film Guarantee Fund, are not funded by CSI. A project cannot get CSI financing if it has already received money from another government agency.

6. Innovation and Technology Fund

The Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) is a government fund with the mission of assisting Hong Kong-based firms in modernizing and transforming their operations via technology.

7. Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living

A government funding program called the Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living (ITFBL) assists businesses in creating and implementing technologies to enhance people's quality of life. ITFBL provides funding for initiatives made in Hong Kong, adheres to official guidelines, and benefits a particular population or group. Themes for projects can include things like education, safety, health, and transportation. Projects can be delivered in various ways, including through software, tools, or mobile apps. ITFBL needs initiatives as well that are not profitable.

8. Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund)

Social innovation projects are funded by grants from the government's Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund). The fund supports initiatives in the following three categories: innovative programs, research, and capacity building. By fostering social inclusion and cohesiveness, the SIE fund's primary goal is to give persons in need dignity, hope, and a sense of value.


In conclusion, securing funding is critical to launching a successful startup in Hong Kong. As highlighted in this article, several funding options are available for entrepreneurs, ranging from angel investors and venture capital firms to government grants such as Cyberport Creative Micro Fund, IDEATION by HKSTP, and Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, to name a few. Each funding option has unique features and benefits, and it's crucial to understand them to make an informed decision that sets your business up for success. Ultimately, with the right funding option and a solid business plan, you can turn your startup idea into a thriving and profitable business in Hong Kong.

Fuel Your Startup Journey - Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter!

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page