To support emerging enterprises and encourage entrepreneurship in the younger generation in Macau, the Macau Economic Services Bureau launched the Young Entrepreneurs Aid Scheme in August 2013, offering interest-free loans of up to MOP 300,000 for young people aged 21 to 44 to start their own businesses, and in June 2015, also set up the Macao Young Entrepreneur Incubation Centre (the “Incubation Centre”) to further enhance services to its Scheme recipients, through provision of rent-free workshare spaces and assistance in any necessary regulatory applications for their businesses.
To assist young people in their endeavours and to increase the chance of success for these young entrepreneurs, the Foundation proposed to the Macau Economic Services Bureau the initiative to provide a pro-bono business consulting service to these start-up’s, in collaboration with the Graduate School of Business (“GSB”) at the University of Macau’s Faculty of Business Administration. With the help of the Bureau, entrepreneurs interested in receiving consultancy advice in how to tackle certain business issues related to their start-up’s are encouraged to contact the Incubation Centre, with their queries referred to the Graduate School of Business who then appoints faculty members and graduate students with expertise in the relevant areas and who will advise on these issues. On the one hand, the entrepreneurs will be able to receive consultancy advice on how to address their business issues while, on the other, graduate students at the GSB will have an opportunity to work on “real world” business issues, thus enhancing their academic experience while also receiving a stipend for their work.
University of Macau
Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region - Economic Bureau
Pro-bono Business Advisory Service
The business consulting service was provided by faculty members and graduate students from the Faculty of Business at the University of Macau, with the project-in-charge being their Programme Director of the Master of Business Administration Programme. The service offered customized assistance to young entrepreneurs seeking help with addressing specific business issues they face at different stages of their business, and on a range of topics that may include market research, cash-flow management, marketing and business modelling, customer relations management, human resource management, etc.
Those interested in using the pro-bono service were encouraged to contact the Macao Young Entrepreneur Incubation Centre to register their details, who would in turn contact the GSB and, upon review of the queries and assigning the work team of students headed by a faculty member, applicants would be contacted to arrange face-to-face meetings to so the team would begin working on the case.
Apart from the pro-bono business advisory service, a series of open forums was presented in collaboration with the Macau Economic Services Bureau and the Business and Research Training Centre under the University of Macau’s Faculty of Business Administration. With both applicants and recipients often encountering similar issues at different stages of the application process as well as after receiving funding, the forums were not only targeting young entrepreneurs who had already started their businesses, but also those who are contemplating applying to the Government’s Young Entrepreneurs’ Aid Scheme, assisting them with improving the quality of their applications, with potential applicants being taught to have a more realistic view of their business plans at the early stages of conceptualization.
A range of topics relevant to entrepreneurship were presented at the ten (10) forums, including:
• Discovering Innovative Ideas for Entrepreneurship
• Formulating a Business Plan
• Common Accounting and Finance Problems Encountered when Starting a Business
• Manpower Issues when Starting a Business
• Challenges Faced by Small and Medium Enterprises
• Challenges and Strategies to Opening up the Macau Market
• The Macroeconomic Environment of Macau and its Effect on Business Start-ups
• The Era of New Media in Business and Promotional Strategies
• Nurturing the Capabilities Required for the Growth of a Company
• The Evolution of Local Brands