We at Concinnity told you all about the Hong Kong government’s TVP funding programme here. Today, we walk you through the government’s BUD funding programme. As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on across the world, programmes like the BUD and TVP help the government support city businesses, aiding their future growth. And we are here to help with the application process for these programmes, using our own in-house experts as well as a team of external funding specialists.
BUD stands for ‘Branding, Upgrading and Domestic sales’. The funding programme was set up in June 2012 with HK$1 billion in its coffers to help local SMEs, including start-ups, ‘grasp economic opportunities and boost their competitiveness’, originally just in mainland China but now across countries which have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Hong Kong. This includes Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries like Singapore, the Philippines and Cambodia, as well as other nations like Australia, Norway and even Macao. The programme has helped many Hong Kong businesses expand into the mainland or into other nations with an FTA with HK. In short, it helps local enterprises to ‘explore new markets and new business opportunities’ on the mainland or in other countries.
“COVID-19 has been tough on businesses but they are still having government funding successes right now in Hong Kong. We can help your company apply for BUD funding and then we can help guide you through the whole process,” says Vishwas Thakkar, founder of Concinnity.
The BUD programme is open to all non-listed enterprises registered as businesses in Hong Kong which have substantive business operations in the city.
Applicants don’t need to already have business operations on the mainland or in ASEAN countries. They just need to show they are targeting these overseas operations.
Applicants can be in any industry, from manufacturing to services.
Funding is provided on a matching basis, so the government covers up to 50 percent of the applicable project’s costs and the enterprise covers no less than 50 percent of it.
Businesses can obtain funding for up to 20 projects each, with the total cumulative amount being no more than HK$4 million. Each application for funding can be for up to HK$1 million match-funded by the government.
Any project that ‘assists individual Hong Kong enterprises in exploring and developing the mainland market’, as well as the applicable ASEAN markets, ‘through developing brands, upgrading and restructuring operations and promoting sales’ is eligible.
Each funded project must be completed within two years.
The fund can cover business expenses that are directly related to enterprises which develop their businesses in the specific mainland or FTA markets. Staff costs can be included, as can new business set-up costs, business registrations, extra manpower, branding activities, new product development, setting up new ecommerce channels and much more besides.
Vishwas Thakkar, Concinnity’s founder, says: “The BUD Programme is for companies who are looking to market overseas or who have a market overseas that they want to strengthen. There are two programmes, one for mainland China and the other for FTA countries. There’s a 50 percent ceiling, though, so applicants must remember that they need to match-fund 50 percent of the costs of a project.”
Tina Wong, founder of a Hong Kong SME corporate administration managing firm that specialises not just in corporate and HR administration for small businesses and NGOs but also in the process of funding applications, is helping Concinnity with its mission to aid businesses in their applications. She says: “The BUD Programme can cover a range of services, which is really useful, including expenses for advertising in that mainland or overseas market or perhaps promotional materials.”
“A business,” continues Wong, “must have a market they are targeting and the fund will help with the costs, which could even include setting up a website in that target market. Take Cambodia as an example. You could do your research, target the country as your next market, register your business in Cambodia, perhaps get two headcounts and an office there and then apply to the BUD Programme for help in the promotion of your business there.”
Dion Leung, Hong Kong-based freelance funding application expert, who is also supporting Concinnity in helping businesses apply for funding, says that the BUD Programme can be ‘quite complicated as it covers a wide range of expenses’ but she says it’s worth trying to understand it all in detail. “There’s a big funding ceiling of up to HK$1 million,” she says. “The assessors will look at how strong your business operation is and that you’ve done your research on your target market but the rewards are immense if you’re successful. And the process can be fairly quick, sometimes taking just two to three months. But there is a high rate of rejection.”
Thakkar says his team at Concinnity is happy to receive a call from any business that wants to take advantage of the BUD Programme. “Many of our clients have had successful applications,” he says. “COVID-19 has been tough on businesses but they are still having government funding successes right now in Hong Kong. We can help your company apply for BUD funding and then we can help guide you through the whole process. Give us a call if you are interested in this programme or other funding programmes that are out there for your business right now.”
For more funding programme details and to contact our team at Concinnity, visit here.
Easy steps to apply for BUD funding with Concinnity:
Work out if your business has a relevant project
Decide whether you can afford to pay at least 50 percent of the project
Contact our expert team (see the end of this article)
Meet with us and discuss and we will talk you through the whole process
Work with our experts and reap the rewards
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