The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups has teamed up with a generous landlady to offer keen entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 35 a ground-floor shop space for a nominal rent of HK$1 per month, the Apple Daily reported Monday.
The federation is now accepting business proposals for a food and beverage outlet at No. 28 Shanghai Street.
The special lease for the space, which has a net usable area of 700 square feet, will last for two years.
Representatives from real estate agents in the area said the HK$1 rent is very attractive, but business starters need to be creative to sustain their operations, as the traffic in the area is not very high.
The federation has been vetting applications since 2005 for grants of up to HK$100,000 in the form of interest-free loans to young business starters. So far, it has approved 155 applications.
Supervisor Gary Tang said the ceiling for the grants will be raised to HK$150,000 this year.
Tang said the landlady contacted the federation in September, saying she would like to help young people who wish to start a business of their own.
Applicants are required to submit a business proposal detailing their business plan, the restaurant’s specialty and financial plans.
A panel of accounting and industry professionals will review the applications. The results will be announced by the end of April.
Rating and Valuation Department figures show the rental value of the shop space this year is HK$366,000, or HK$30,500 a month.
Mak Kwai-pui, a partner in dim sum chain operator Tim Ho Wan, said the rent of HK$1 is a huge cost advantage, but he warned young people to be cautious, as the food and beverage industry is one that requires a lot of experience in sourcing ingredients and quality control.
The outlet will not be as easy to manage as one might imagine, Mak said.
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