Start Your Business In Hong Kong, or You Don’t Make It Elsewhere

Part IFNF Global Innovation Hub
Part 2FNF Global Innovation Hub

“If you don’t start a business here in Hong Kong, you probably don’t do it anywhere else in the world,” said WHub Co-Founder Karena Belin. “Hong Kong is by nature and historically, a very entrepreneurial place,” she added.

Apart from being one of the world’s premier financial centers, Hong Kong is also said to be positioned as a top global startup hub. The startup ecosystem in Hong Kong continues to grow, and thrives with ”talent, money, infrastructure, and support.”

“The pace of change is enormous. There are over 300,000 SMEs here that serve as the backbone of the economy. The investment, talent, and support from the government offer the right mixture that helps you create sustainable business,” observed Belin.

Hong Kong recently ranked 5th in World Bank’s list of easiest places to do business report.

In an interview on Drivers of Innovation, Belin spoke fondly of Hong Kong, which has been her host city for seven years since she moved in 2011. She got into the startup scene in 2013, and launched WHub, an online profile-driven platform a year later. WHub has helped build meaningful connections for startups, facilitating exchange of ideas and access to smart money.

Belin, who is originally from Germany, also viewed Hong Kong as a meeting point between the East and West. “Geographically, Hong Kong is very centrally and strategically well-positioned. It’s like an hourglass – you have China at the top and Southeast Asia at the bottom. You’re in a four-hour radius to half of the world’s population where you have access to resources,” explained Belin.

“Hong Kong plays a major role in helping western companies get into the Chinese market. Similarly, it opens doors to startups from Shenzhen or from mainland China to communicate to the rest of the world,” she went on. Belin pointed out that Hong Kong provides business opportunities that expand to more than just pure market size perspective.

The diversity of Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem in terms of demographics, talent, and industry also contributes to the stimulating environment for entrepreneurs. The influx of people and ideas has prompted government to make “Smart City” a focus area, improving operational efficiency like transport and internet infrastructures.

Drivers of Innovation is a podcast series by FNF Global Innovation Hub. It looks at technology as a tool for creating opportunities. “Hong Kong has shown that an open and digital society not only creates economic value but also advances social progress. There is more innovation with greater freedom,” said Armin Reinartz, Head of FNF Global Innovation Hub. 


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