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Ho suggests setting up ‘angel fund’ to support startups

Fri, 16th Aug 2019

As many local startups are facing a lack of funds, there is a need for an “angel fund” in Macao to provide new companies with capital for their initial investment in order to help them produce and sell their products and services, chief executive candidate Ho Iat Seng told reporters on Thursday.

The term “angel fund” refers to a money pool created by individuals, companies or other entities for investing in business startups.

Angel investors are affluent individuals who inject capital for startups, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. According to Investopedia, they focus on helping startups with their first steps rather than for possible returns.

Ho visited the Macao Young Entrepreneur Incubation Centre in Avenida do Governador Jaime Silvério Marques in Zape Thursday afternoon and listened to nearly a dozen entrepreneurs about their new products and opinions. Ho also shared his decades-long business experience with the about 50 members of the centre.

Ho, 62, talked to reporters on the sidelines of his visit that as Macao needs to diversify its economy, “it’s necessary to support youth entrepreneurship. The centre provides young people with workspaces, helps them get in touch with their potential clients and launch product promotions. Moreover, the most important thing is to boost startups’ ability to achieve industrialisation and marketisation.”

Responding to media questions about the government already spending a lot of money on youth entrepreneurs but with chequered results, Ho said that running a new company was a long process which needed time to explore and gain experience, adding that the government was mostly providing workspaces and technical support for startups rather than just giving them money.

Ho said he understood that many young people are facing funding problems when they start a new company. He said:” Local banks require youth entrepreneurs to mortgage their property as security for a loan, but sure, young people mostly don’t have one [a property]. Macao should consider setting up an angel fund to provide financial backing for small startups so they can focus more on their product design or scientific research.”

According to the Macau Post Daily, Ho also pointed out that it’s important to ensure sufficient transparency and supervision of the funding programme in order for the public to be aware of the cost of supporting entrepreneurs.

(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)