Hiring interns is a good way to have motivated young people working at your company for very reasonable rates.
This short article is a practical guide for Hong Kong startups and SMEs to provide proper internships that are worthwhile for both the intern and the company. The content is based on my personal experience as the founder of an AI startup and the general manager of a boutique consulting firm, as well as a thorough research of publicly available government material about the topic.
If your startup is in need of external funds, you might want to consider applying for one of the equity-free government schemes financed by the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF).
One scheme that became increasingly popular for startups over the last couple of years is the Enterprise Support Scheme (ESS). By staying diligent, and with a little bit of patience, companies can get large amounts of funding on a 50% matching basis. This means that for every dollar provided by ITF, the receiving company has to provide one dollar.
This article is a description of the ESS application process with details about what to expect after signing the funding agreement. The content is based on my personal experience of securing the ESS funding for my startup in January 2018. I hope it will give some clarity on this process that is not well documented and can quickly become frustrating.