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#StartupEvent: 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) HK & SZ Highlights

From the most comprehensive entrepreneurial study in the world, here are a few things you need to know about HK and SZ entrepreneurs.

What is the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)?

The Seminar on 2016-17 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Hong Kong & Shenzhen is held on 15th February, where government officials, academias, and entrepreneurs joined hands together to celebrate the thriving Hong Kong startup ecosystem. Being the most comprehensive and reliable entrepreneurship study in the world, it covers 69% of global population and 85% of global GDP.  We are very excited to be covering some of the interesting insights in this event.

Prof. Kalok Chan, Dean of CUHK Business School made his opening remarks with the endeavour of different stakeholders on innovation and entrepreneurship. Universities’ having their own incubation centres and supporting different young entrepreneur programmes such as the Google EYE also pushed forward the initiative. Dr. David Chung, JP, Under Secretary at Innovation and Technology Bureau mentioned, “Young entrepreneurs are a vital engine to the economy. It serves as a momentum for society to drive new ideas and innovation.” Positive signs are shown with different technology and innovation funding schemes, university support, and tax incentive measures.

Hong Kong & Shenzhen Entrepreneurship Environment Updates

The GEM Report updates is carried out by Prof. Kelvin Au, Associate Director of Centre for Entrepreneurship CUHK and Dr. Marta Dowejko, Research Assistant Professor of HKBU. There is an overall improvement in the entrepreneurial process. A prominent growth is noted in the number of nascent entrepreneurs for HK and the number of new entrepreneurs and established business owners for SZ compared to 2009.

Insights on Entrepreneurs: Who are they?
Some interesting data has shown that although entrepreneurs are mostly male, females are more opportunity-driven in both HK and SZ. People are 1.3 times more likely to start a business in the most entrepreneurial groups.

Insights on Startups: What do they do?
Hong Kong ranks No. 1 as opportunity-driven entrepreneurship hub. Startups have high-growth expectations, turn to ICT and focus on their market strengths. It is interesting to see that HK firms are more likely to born and grow global while SZ firms are more China-focused.

Insights on Funding: What about the money?
One good news is that there is a decline in exits related to lack of funding and there is also a growing culture of informal investing in both cities. Hong Kong and Shenzhen ranks top 2 globally for the most generous in offering fundings to startups, with USD 70,565 and USD 76,112 average funding respectively.

With improved social image of entrepreneurship in both cities compared to seven years ago, the two startup ecosystems are highly complementary. The report has highlighted the difference between HK and SZ and the ways we can leverage on the complementarity nature to further cooperate between the two regions. 

A panel discussion is followed to further discuss on the report findings. Panelists expressed views on the drivers on entrepreneurs, ways of joining forces, and the synergy between HK and SZ in co-creating a thriving startup ecosystem.

You can click here to download the full version report and the presentation slides.

A Dialogue Between Male and Female Entrepreneurship

The second panel discussed the topic on Male & Female Entrepreneurship. Moderated by Dr. Marta Dowejko, the panelists included Renu Bhatia, Co-founder of Asia Fintech Angels; Archit Hari, Head of Customer Experience at; Donna NguyenPhuoc, Partner at SPARQ Technology Investors Society; and Tony Verb, Managing Partner at Mettā.

"I actually see no difference between the two in terms of opportunities or capabilities." - Tony Verb, Managing Partner at Mettā.

The success of the business depends on scalability, whether it requires external funding from investors or not. Gender stereotypes only gets in the way if female entrepreneurs lack confidence and think that it is an obstacle to them. Society should completely drop the label between genders. Entrepreneurship activities spur growth, create jobs and spark innovation and gender does not make a difference.

Quoting from one of my favourites in this panel discussion by Renu Bhatia, "The ambition is the same for male and female. We should not be discriminating or making women have smaller vision. Our vision are as big and as powerful as anybody else out there, and we should be wiling to strive for them."

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