Preferential policies adopted to support entrepreneurship

Young entrepreneurs from Hong Kong and Macao will receive subsidies of up to 2 million yuan (US$290,511) if their startups in Qianhai have gone public, according to a series of policies the Qianhai authority recently adopted to support innovation and entrepreneurship among the Hong Kong and Macao youths in the free trade area.

The policies, which took effect early this month and will remain effective for three years, offer financial support in various aspects, including employment, entrepreneurship and life, to young entrepreneurs from Hong Kong and Macao in Qianhai.

In order to attract more young people from Hong Kong and Macao to start businesses in Qianhai, the Qianhai authority will offer 50,000 yuan to each of the startups six months after they have settled in Qianhai. The authority will also provide subsidies to the startups for three years, helping cover 80 percent of their rent and the property management fees for the first year, 50 percent for the second year and 20 percent for the third year.

Apart from the rent subsidy, the Qianhai authority will award each of the Hong Kong and Macao startup 1 million yuan if they have accumulative investments of at least 20 million yuan, their revenue in the previous year reached 10 million yuan and have an annual growth rate of 30 percent in the past two years.

Up to 10 million yuan will be granted by the Qianhai authority to startups that earned various kinds of Shenzhen municipal talents awards and financial support from Hong Kong's science and technology funds.

The startups will receive 2 million yuan each if they have gone public on the Shanghai, Shenzhen or Hong Kong stock exchanges. They will receive 1 million yuan each if they are listed on London or New York stock exchanges, or the NASDAQ.

Additionally, other supportive funding, such as subsidies for bank loan interest payments of up to 1 million yuan per year, and national and Shenzhen municipal high-tech firm certification awards, will also be offered to the Hong Kong and Macao startups in Qianhai.

The Qianhai authority will set aside funds to subsidize Hong Kong and Macao youth innovation and entrepreneurship incubation carriers registered in Qianhai. Under the policies, an incubation carrier that owns office space, including at least 300 square meters used as a maker space, 1,000 square meters for the incubator and 3,000 square meters for the accelerator, will receive a 600,000-yuan subsidy for its maker space, 800,000 yuan for the incubator and 1 million yuan for the accelerator on condition that no less than 50 percent of the startups under its incubation are owned by Hong Kong and Macao youths.

Incubation carriers that have been in operation in Qianhai for at least one year and have no less than 50 percent of incubated startups from Hong Kong and Macao by the application deadline will receive 1 million yuan, 2 million yuan and 3 million yuan in subsidies for the maker space, the incubator and the accelerator, respectively. The funds will be required to be used to cover costs including equipment, conference fees, publication, intellectual property rights protection, rent and other utility bills. Qianhai will offer the subsidies for up to three years.

According to the policies, startups by Hong Kong and Macao youths will each receive up to 50,000 yuan from Qianhai if they have obtained their first investment after settling in a Qianhai incubator. The Qianhai authority will provide an award of 200,000 yuan to such a startup that has been incubated in the free trade area for at least a year and gone public on the Shanghai or Shenzhen stock exchanges, and 100,000 yuan if it’s listed on the London, Tokyo, New York stock exchanges or the NASDAQ. An incubation carrier will also be awarded 10,000 yuan if the startups it incubated are certified as national or Shenzhen high-tech firms. Awards will be provided to the incubation carriers that are certified as national-, provincial- and municipal-level incubation base models.

Hong Kong and Macao startups will receive 400,000 yuan and 250,000 yuan for setting up a Ph.D. work station or an innovation base, respectively, which has been approved by the city’s human resources and social security authority. Companies and institutions in Qianhai will be subsidized 50,000 yuan per person for employing Hong Kong and Macao researchers from the Ph.D. work stations.

Subsidies will also be available for organizing a variety of activities such as forums, innovation and entrepreneurship competitions, maker’s markets, and roadshows in Qianhai.

The Qianhai authority will also offer internships and jobs to university students in Hong Kong and Macao who have won scholarships set up by Qianhai companies and institutions and approved by the Qianhai authority.

University students in Hong Kong and Macao who sign labor contracts for at least two years with companies and institutions in Qianhai within five years upon their graduation and have worked in Qianhai for at least one year will each receive a subsidy of up to 50,000 yuan, and the employers will also be subsidized 2,000 yuan per person hired.

Young people who possess professional certificates issued by Hong Kong and Macao authorities will each be granted 50,000 yuan in subsidies if they have signed employment contracts for at least two years with Qianhai companies and institutions and worked in Qianhai for at least one year.

The Qianhai authority will subsidize Qianhai companies that have set up scholarships at Hong Kong and Macao universities up to 2 million yuan each per year for three years.

The preferential policies also include housing subsidies of up to 30,000 yuan for a university graduate from Hong Kong or Macao who works in Qianhai but owns no property in Shenzhen or enjoys no other forms of government subsidies for housing. An annual 3,600 yuan in transport subsidies will be offered to a Hong Kong or Macao resident working in Qianhai for no more than two years.

The policies are applicable to Hong Kong and Macao residents aged between 18 and 45 who have no criminal record, and mainland residents graduating from universities in Hong Kong and Macao.