MU Connect issue 5 (page 18 to 19)

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Nurturing HKMU entrepreneurs

With start-ups being hailed as engines of economic growth around the world, HKMU has been sparing no effort to support innovation and entrepreneurship on campus over the past decade. Through the annual MetroChallenge organised by the Student Affairs Office (SAO), which provides seed funding to help students and recent graduates apply their business ideas in real-world settings, a total of HK$4 million has been granted since 2017.

New HKMU Startup Fund

This year, our Graduate Employment Survey revealed a clear trend of growing numbers of graduates who have started or are planning to start their own business. With this in mind, the University has decided to further promote the entrepreneurial spirit among members of the HKMU community by setting up the HKMU Startup Fund (HKMUSF) with an initial fund of HK$50 million, with eligibility extended to staff and alumni.

Vice President (Research and Student Development) Prof. Ricky Kwok Yu-kwong says, 'The University encourages all members of the HKMU community to unleash their creativity and step out of their comfort zones. We believe that the experience they gain in the process of starting a business would benefit their career development and personal growth.' The new initiative has gained full support from the University Council. Several Council members who are entrepreneurs and have previously invested in successful start-ups will also join the management team of the HKMUSF to share their experience and wise counsel.

Fostering entrepreneurship amoung students

Meanwhile, the SAO, as a unique platform for fostering entrepreneurship among students, continues to run different types of training and activities. The Entrepreneurship Month held in February presented a series of sharing sessions covering design thinking, business models, pitching skills and social enterprises. On 25 and 26 February, the HKMU Entrepreneurship Weekend Market gave students the chance to try their hand at entrepreneurship at D2 Place, Lai Chi Kok. Twenty stalls offering a diverse range of products were set up and run by the students. Complemented by workshops and student musical performances, the weekend market attracted over 2,000 visitors.

Following the close of application for this year's MetroChallenge in late May, nine teams stood out from the pool of participants and each received a HK$100,000 Implementation Fund and a range of entrepreneurial support. On 6 July, the winning teams presented their proposals and met with seasoned entrepreneurs at the inaugural HKMU Entrepreneurship Day. The event also featured a keynote speaker, Chairman and Managing Director of Grandion Group and member of the University Council Mr Alan Cheung, who shared his valuable experience of establishing and managing a successful business while speaking on the topic of unconventional strategies for entrepreneurial success.