HKFYG Youth Business Hong Kong
Launches a Series of Programme to Support
Young Entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Youth Business Hong Kong (YBHK), operated by The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG), will support local entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Youth Business International (YBI) is rolling out a Rapid Response and Recovery Programme, funded by Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, that supports underserved micro, small and medium businesses across the globe in response to the COVID-19.
The unprecedented global economic downturn due to the challenges brought on by the pandemic has rendered small and medium businesses especially vulnerable. With tighter and tighter profit margins, young entrepreneurs in particular are finding it increasingly difficult to stay afloat without a helping hand.
For example, two local young entrepreneurs, Teresa Chan and Chester Szeen, are co-founders of Mellow, a financial planning app for children. Launched in 2018, Mellow was well-developed at its initial stage and was looking for angel investors for further research and development, recruitment and promotion. However, the potential investor was unable to follow through due to the pandemic. Teresa and Chester are doing their best to cut costs by temporarily suspending their own salaries, while continuing to successfully approach various local schools for new business opportunities.
Now with this support, and with its commitment in fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship, YBHK will launch a series of programmes over the coming six months to encourage young entrepreneurs to examine business strategies, while reviewing and redefining their business goals. These programmes include customised one-on-one consultation services, online business talks, sharings with CEOs and other professionals, as well as mentoring sessions. Different promotional channels and free applications to local trade fair/exhibitions will also be offered to subscribers.
According to Gary TANG Leung-shun, Coordinator of The HKFYG, overseeing YBHK, “The Federation is dedicated to helping young people start their own businesses, by providing financial and other practical support. These businesses have helped create over 1,000 jobs in the past years, making a positive contribution to the society”. Tang believes that the current challenges also provide opportunities, and hopes that young entrepreneurs will be able to access support from different sectors of the community. “I am so grateful to Google.org for its generous support and assistance during this difficult time and providing hope to young entrepreneurs,” concluded Tang.
Anita Tiessen, CEO of Youth Business International, stated, “The world is changing dramatically from day to day, I feel deeply for business owners everywhere, especially those running smaller businesses and are from underserved communities, who are often least able to bear the economic shocks of this crisis. “In the face of these challenges, I have been incredibly inspired by the quick response of our network to support business owners around the world. YBI, with Google.org’s new funding commitment, will help us sustain and extend this support throughout 2020, ensuring more than 200,000 businesses can get the advice they need right now to navigate this crisis.”
Rowan Barnett, Head of Google.org, EMEA & APAC, said, “The COVID-19 outbreak is taking a devastating toll on lives and communities, and small businesses are facing unprecedented challenges as they struggle to stay afloat. With this grant to Youth Business International, alongside a series of Google initiatives and products, we hope to help some of the most vulnerable small businesses find a way through the crisis.”
YBI is an experienced network of enterprise support organisations. It supports over 200,000 small and medium business owners across 32 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. YBHK has been part of the YBI network since 2005.
Youth Business Hong Kong(YBHK)
The HKFYG is a pioneer in promoting youth entrepreneurship by enlisting the support of YBI to help set up YBHK. It was the first local one-stop programme to provide support to young people interested in running their own businesses. By working in partnership with the local business communities, it was envisioned that YBHK would provide financial access for business start-ups and support young people through an intensive and extensive programme of business mentoring. Since 2005, a total of HK$14m has been offered to 202 businesses established by 329 young people. One upcoming event is “The Challenges of Setting Up / Owning a Restaurant Business & Food Startups” to be held on 28 May. For more details, please visit sic.hkfyg.org.hk
HKFYG Non-stop care and support
The HKYFG has been launching a series of projects to cater for the intellectual, emotional and social needs of young people during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include Bandwidth Support for E-learning at Home Scheme provided 100,000 SIM cards and 1,000 free Zoom Classroom accounts to students and schools respectively. NEIGHBOURHOOD First youth volunteers and partners distributed 140,000 face masks and anti-epidemic packs to those in need, and easyvolunteer.hk recruited 160 volunteers to provide free online tuition for primary and secondary school students. M21 online TV channel and the HKFYG Leadership Institute continue to produce interactive learning and leisure programmes.
Youth Business International (YBI)
YBI is a global network of expert organisations in over 50 countries supporting underserved young people to turn their ideas into successful businesses, creating jobs and strengthening communities. Our vision is a world where youth entrepreneurship is recognised for driving sustainable economic development and all young people who want to set up a business can fulfil their potential. We connect our members to share expertise and collaborate on solutions to common challenges. Visit www.youthbusiness.org.
Google.org, Google’s philanthropy, supports nonprofits that address humanitarian issues and apply scalable, data-driven innovation to solving the world’s biggest challenges. We accelerate their progress by connecting them with a unique blend of support that includes funding, products, and technical expertise from Google volunteers. We engage with these believers-turned-doers who make a significant impact on the communities they represent, and whose work has the potential to produce meaningful change. We want a world that works for everyone—and we believe technology and innovation can move the needle in four key areas: education, economic opportunity, inclusion and crisis response.
For media enquiries, please contact:
The HKFYG Corporate Communications Office
Ms. Miranda Ho
Tel: 3755 7044