Is it difficult for SMEs to apply for government’s funds? Consultant: SMEs should be specify about the purposes when they write the fund application proposals
In August this year, the Government has injected HK$1 billion into the “SME Export Marketing Fund” and another HK$1 billion into the BUD Fund. This has attracted many SMEs to apply for these funds. At present, there are many consultancy companies assisting their clients to apply for funds from the government. However, business insiders point out that there is a great variety of funds. Enterprises should choose the right funds for themselves; otherwise, they might have difficulties in utilizing the sum of money granted.
Applying for SME funds only after having understanding about them
In the past, Miss Dorothy Wong was a social worker and she was responsible for applying for funds from the government for the organization which she was working for. Recently, she has established a consultancy company to assist SMEs and NGOs in applying for funds. Dorothy pointed out that she would first understand the needs of the clients, and then suggest the right funds based on their unique needs. She continued that most clients didn’t study the requirements and content of the funding schemes closely and have limited knowledge about the funding schemes. Therefore, she needs to explain the funding schemes to the clients in detail.
Obtaining all documents needed before the commencement of the fund application
To assist clients in fund application, much preparation is required. There are countless difficulties during the fund application processes. “When the government said the maximum amount of the subsidy is 1 million dollars, it doesn’t mean that you can certainly get 1 million dollars. When someone succeeds in getting the full subsidy but you fail, you may be disappointed.” Therefore, Dorothy emphasized that
clients must get all documents ready before the commencement of the fund application processes. Haste makes waste. If there is any inadequacy in the information provided by the clients, there is no guarantee that they can the full subsidy. She is not in a hurry to collect a deposit from the clients.
Years of business operation can affect the successful rate of fund application
The government has provided countless funds for enterprises. Dorothy admitted that she has not yet applied for all funds, but she advised that enterprises which aim at applying for the BUD Fund should pay attention to their years of business operation. The department concerned will look into the annual revenue of the enterprises. Therefore, enterprises with less than one year of business operation will not be eligible to apply for the BUD Fund. Besides, many funding schemes require applicants to submit fund application proposals. Dorothy hinted that these enterprises should study the application guidelines and the successful cases closely, whilst understanding the backgrounds of their own enterprises. Up till now, between 70% to 80% of Dorothy’s clients have already succeeded in different fund applications.