School of Business of Hong Kong Baptist University (“HKBU”) and Center for Entrepreneurship (“CfE”) of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (“CUHK”) jointly announced the findings of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (“GEM”) Hong Kong and Shenzhen Report 2016-17 (“the Report”) on 15 February 2017.  The Report was conducted in a joint effort by HKBU, the CUHK Business School's CfE, the University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Business and Economics, Shenzhen Academy of Social Sciences and Savantas Policy Research Institute, to examine the changing entrepreneurial cultures and profile from 2009 to 2016 in the megalopolis, making up a special economic zone and a special administrative region.  The study compares the results with past indicators for both ecosystems and provides an international benchmark with 64 economies worldwide. 

The GEM Report 2016-17 reveals that both cities have the natural industry compatibility that could help in boosting the combined potential and advantage in international and the Mainland markets, if being underpinned by compatible policies towards entrepreneurship and an increased cultural exchange. Hong Kong’s role as a super-connector for a booming Shenzhen will be essential in furthering the development of this megalopolis.

Key findings of the GEM Report 2016-17
  1. entrepreneurship rates in the adult populations of Hong Kong (9.44%) and Shenzhen (16.04%) recorded a record growth since 2009 (+234% in Shenzhen, +159% in Hong Kong) as a result of booming start-up support ecosystem.

  2. Hong Kong ranks No.1 with the highest proportion of opportunity-driven entrepreneurs in the 66 economies under review.

  3. increasingly positive attitudes and growing entrepreneurial intentions towards entrepreneurship in both cities.

  4. early-stage entrepreneurs in both cities have one of the highest growth expectations among all economies in the study, aiming to create 10+ jobs and grow 50% or more in the next five years (38% in Shenzhen, 27% in Hong Kong)

  5. early-stage ventures in both cities show a sign of professionalisation, relying more on social connections to find co-founders instead of family members.

  6. young people start seeing entrepreneurship as a viable career option, in part attributed to post-secondary curricula of and events organised by local universities in support of the growth of entrepreneurial education. 

  7. the source of funds differs in the way that family members, banks and venture capitalists are more supportive of start-ups in Shenzhen, while crowdfunding is more prevalent in Hong Kong.

  8. a growing culture of informal investors is developing in both cities (20.5% in Shenzhen, 6.5% in Hong Kong of the adult population), where friends, neighbours and strangers with good ideas become investment preferences, paving the way for establishing a strong business angel culture.

  9. Hong Kong’s and Shenzhen’s informal investors are the two most generous groups among all economies in the study, who contribute on average US$70,565 and US$76,112 respectively.

  10. there are improvements in the financing options available in Hong Kong as a whole, although there is room for improvement in venture capital availability and stronger crowdfunding options. 

Dr. Marta Dowejko, Research Assistant Professor of Department of Management, HKBU School of Business, is the leading researcher and author of the Report.  She said that, “Hong Kong and Shenzhen are facing a fantastic opportunity: that of being in the perfect position to build a highly unique and internationally competitive start-up hub with an unparalleled ecosystem, compatibility between the two cities and a supportive informal investment culture.  While Shenzhen's start-ups are well geared to deliver innovative ideas with high growth potential, Hong Kong's entrepreneurs possess the know-how in taking ideas to the next level and ensuring their long-term sustainability.  The results from this year's GEM Report give testament to this very unique setup that no other place in the world has.” 

Dr. Michael Young, Head and Associate Professor of Department of Management, HKBU School of Business, said that, “the Report provides answers to questions frequently asked about Hong Kong’s entrepreneurial identity.  It indicates a clear direction for the two neighbouring cities to build synergies and leverage on their talent pools, industry maturity and market orientation to achieve sustainability,” during the discussion session of this year’s GEM Report findings announcement.  

HKBU School of Business is in collaboration with the University’s Knowledge Transfer Office (“KTO”) in support of this Report and is organising entrepreneurial activities on a regular basis.  In order to promote entrepreneurial education, the Young Entrepreneurs’ Club was established jointly with KTO in December 2016, aiming to form an important cluster of young business elites to fuel the growth of entrepreneurship.

The School also launched its new BBA Entrepreneurship Concentration in September 2016, the new Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre and the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship Bootcamp.  In 2017, a new joint award master’s degree programme, Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Global Marketing is being launched.  It is a collaboration between HKBU School of Business and Grenoble École de Management in France.  This new programme is tailored for young executives who aspire to gear up for challenges in start-up projects and international exposure.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) is the world's foremost study of entrepreneurship. The School of Business of Hong Kong Baptist University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The University of Hong Kong, Savantas Policy Institute and Shenzhen Academy of Social Sciences have joined forces to conduct the 2016 GEM for Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

Click HERE for the latest report
Click HERE for the presentation slides

About the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor

The GEM Report aims to gauge the level of entrepreneurial activity around the world.  It is the oldest and largest study of its kind and its 2016-17 edition provides entrepreneurial benchmarks for 66 economies around the world.  Other parts of the study are conducted by other leading universities and institutions worldwide. 

GEM is the largest and most developed research programme on entrepreneurship in the world.  The GEM Report 2016-17 covers 69% of the world’s population and 85% of the world’s GDP.  In its 18thconsecutive year, the report continues to serve as the largest single study of entrepreneurs in the world.  GEM Report is quoted alongside with Global Competitiveness Index or Global Innovation Index.  For the full array of past reports, please refer to

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (“GEM”) was initiated in 1999 as a joint venture of Babson College and the London Business School.  Starting with 10 participating countries, the project has expanded to include over 100 economies up to now.  GEM is unique because, unlike most entrepreneurship data sets that measure newer and smaller firms, GEM studies the behaviour of individuals with respect to starting and managing businesses.  GEM data has influenced national economic policies and continues to expand its collaborative role.