Fintech platform Airwallex has unveiled new relief measures to support the SME and startup community in Hong Kong following the launch of its Hong Kong small and medium enterprises initiative earlier this year.
More than 450 of its SME customers have benefited from the initiative since its launch in April, according to the company. It will commit an additional HK$2.25million to the scheme, raising its total commitment to HK$4.5million this year.
Over 340,000 SMEs operate in Hong Kong, making up 98 per cent of the city’s business establishments and employing about 45 per cent of the private sector workforce. According to Airwallex, the last few years ‘have tested the resilience, determination, and endurance of businesses in Hong Kong’.
Arnold Chan, general manager, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia at Airwallex, says: “We are encouraged to see some SMEs on their path to recovery, but recognise many more still face challenges ahead. This additional rollout of initiatives aims to provide relief in areas where so many SMEs continue to struggle. We hope the additional support we provide will help make a difference for Hong Kong’s SME and startup community.”
The latest relief measures include:
Rental Support: Hong Kong has one of the highest average rents for prime office space in the Asia-Pacific region. Airwallex has partnered with office and warehouse space providers and an online rental payment platform to provide assistance and better options for rent payments.
Integrated Logistics Support: Together with international transportation services company FedEx, and Hong Kong’s leading technology logistics platform GOGOX, Airwallex will provide discounts and cashbacks on various delivery and shipping options.
Marketing Operations Workshops: In partnership with Google Ads, FedEx and GOGOX, Airwallex is continuing to offer webinars and mentorship to SMEs over the course of the next months to upskill businesses looking to grow their business.
Reeve Kwan, co-founder of GOGOX, comments: “The path to recovery for many businesses has just begun. Over the past few years, we are encouraged to see the continued entrepreneurial spirit of so many startups and SMEs in Hong Kong. Together with Airwallex, GOGOX will continue to support the local businesses, and also fuel their future growth via our efficient and agile logistics solutions to fulfill various logistics needs.”
Focus on Australian SMEs
In a separate announcement from Airwallex this week, the fintech platform released findings from its inaugural annual investigation into the Australian small business ecosystem.
The Airwallex Australian Business Growth Index is the first edition of an annual series exploring a range of opportunities and challenges facing the SME sector, including growth, funding, staffing and technological innovation.
Airwallex quizzed 202 small businesses in Australia in late May 2022 across a range of industries, locations and annual turnovers. It revealed that a third of SMEs (35 per cent) in the country have already fully transitioned to digital and fintech solutions for their banking needs.
A third (34 per cent) of Aussie SMEs also say their business is currently operating outside of Australia. This is set to double in the next five years, as more than two thirds of SMEs plan to be operational outside of Australia by 2027.