Startup environment in Hong Kong from a different perspective
Talked about startup environment in HK with some friends last night. We talked about angels, accelerators and government’s role. In the group, only I need to work for living with family burdens. Some of them are born with acres of land (I meant, acres of land in HK). They want to know my view and what I need. I think I should write down my view.
When you search “founder” and “entrepreneur” on LinkedIn and pick “Hong Kong” as location, more than half of your findings are expats.
Within the remaining half, half of them seems like have lived outside of HK more than in HK.
Within the remaining quarter of your findings, half of them studied abroad.
This finding unveils something about the reality of startup environment in HK. HK is famous as an international financial center. The most amazing parts are its simple tax system and low tax rate. Another related fact is the “positive non-interventionism” of HK government.
Low tax rate implies low government’s commitment to social security and welfare, and HK’s ultra-high land price. The most terrible part is, these two things come together.
This result is simple. In most of the cases, only people who don’t have much financial burden can afford the risks of starting their own business.
“Positive non-interventionism” means the government of HK is not trained to act proactively.They are good executors of orders and policies that are in place for decades.This does not only affect the nature of government officials but the structure of government as a whole. The bulky government body and complicated workflow and procedures are slowing down HK’s development in innovation and startups.
Startup environment in a mature city like Hong Kong is relatively tough to people who have financial burdens as they will face misallocation of resources which further lead to an unfavorable competitive environment. But for whom have true passion and entrepreneurship, they will find the way to breakthrough, even the odds are not in their favor.