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Economy

Young entrepreneurs in numbers Entrepreneurship aspirations and the rapid and sustainable development of innovative businesses are seen by the Macao government as ways to diversify the economy and ‘inject new impetus into the economic development’ of the city. The Young Entrepreneurs Aid Scheme was implemented through the Macao Economic Bureau – and here are some facts: • Launched: August 2013 • Applications: 1,975 as of June, this year • Applications approved: 1,468 as of June, this year

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well. But he admits that Macao’s size – at just 32.9 square kilometres and around 667,400 people – can make it tougher for businesses to find success. Therefore, he recommends, ‘to overcome the small population and size, the innovative entrepreneurs must look outside Macao’. But he adds that ‘the connection with Portuguese-speaking countries’ also positions the city ‘as a unique platform’. “This connection,” he notes, “must focus not only on providing solutions for the Portuguesespeaking countries but also on identifying possibilities of cooperation and partnership and bringing solutions from those countries to Macao and the Greater Bay Area.” Macao, says Lobo, has ‘a powerful tourism and entertainment market’ and he says the young entrepreneurs that stay in the city should ‘look close to this’ because ‘there are innumerous services and businesses that can be created around this market and we already see some startups and SMEs focusing on this niche’. He also says that ‘government support is essential’ to young entrepreneurs – and that means ‘much more than only providing funding’. “The whole support [network] around start-ups and SMEs is essential,” he says. “And this includes legal framework, education and a positive environment.” But, overall, Lobo sees the future as bright. “At the present moment in Macao,” he says, “we can feel that there is a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem being established, with different incubators, co-working spaces, events about innovation and a strong support from government agencies. This will help young entrepreneurs to share their difficulties and work together to solve or support those issues, increasing the chances of success.”

•T  otal amount of supporting funds: more than MOP338 million (US$42 million) • Individual supporting funds: interest-free financial assistances of a maximum amount of MOP300,000 (US$37,150) per application • Maximum repayment period: 8 years •M  ain beneficiary companies: retail (45.7%), catering (12.3%), commercial services (10.6%) •A  Young Entrepreneurs Incubator was established in 2015 to provide free working spaces, onestop company registration services, consultation services and training programmes. • In 2017, the Macao Young Entrepreneur Incubation Centre was launched. Until May this year, it received 215 membership applications, of which 164 cases were approved. •T  he University of Macau Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship also positions itself as ‘an entrepreneurial education provider’, providing services like temporary office spaces, consultation and advice. It has teams specialised in traditional Chinese medicine, medical science, information technology and more.

*Sources: Macau Economic Bureau and the University of Macau

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Profile for Macaulink

Macao Magazine September 2019  

We have found alarming figures on plastic waste over the course of putting together this issue: 160,000 plastic bags are used every second a...

Macao Magazine September 2019  

We have found alarming figures on plastic waste over the course of putting together this issue: 160,000 plastic bags are used every second a...