The inaugural Enterprise Hong Kong Awards were launched yesterday, with the aim of giving greater recognition to the city's small and medium-sized enterprises.
Hosted by the South China Morning Post and DHL Express, a division of Deutsche Post Express, the awards will be presented at a gala dinner on September 25.
Raymond Yip, an assistant executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, a supporting partner of the awards, said yesterday it would be a groundbreaking event that would raise the profile of small and medium-sized enterprises.
"It's a recognition of their contribution to Hong Kong's economy," Yip said. "SMEs sometimes don't get sufficient recognition because they are not listed."
He said the heads of 12 SME associations attended a lunch yesterday to learn more about the awards.
Although SMEs' contribution to the city's gross domestic product was not large, they were very important to society, he said.
As of last year, there were 310,000 SMEs in Hong Kong, accounting for more than 98 per cent of the city's companies and providing jobs to nearly 1.3 million people, according to the TDC.
Danny Lau Tat-pong, the honorary chairman of the Hong Kong Small and Medium Enterprises Association, said SMEs accounted for at least 45 per cent of the city's employment.
There are nine award categories: young entrepreneur, corporate social responsibility, e-business, innovation excellence, export excellence, regionalisation, brand excellence, best customer service and an achiever's award.
Nominations for the awards close on July 11.
The seven judges for the awards are South China Morning Post business editor Nick Edwards, DHL Express Hong Kong vice-president Ecila Chan, Platinum Group and Access Investment Management (HK) managing director Liu Chee Ming, DBS Bank Hong Kong head of institutional banking Alex Cheung, Hong Kong Polytechnic University vice-president Angelina Yuen, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce SME committee chairman Cliff Chan, and Hong Kong Productivity Council business management director Gordon Lo.
(Back row, from left to right: Gary Tong, Chairman, Hong Kong Young Entrepreneur Association; Roco Chiu, Ex-Chairman, Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce in China; Danny Lau, Life Honorary Chairman, HK SME Association; Raymond Yip, Assistant Executive Director, HKTDC; Elsie Cheung, COO, SCMP Group; Anthony Chung, Chairman, Hong Kong Promotion Association for SME; Tommy Law Founding President, SME Global Alliance; Edward Lam, President, Hong Kong SME Development Federation; Albert Lau, Vice Chairman Hong Kong SME General Association; Michael Hui, Vice President, Hong Kong Chinese Importers' & Exporters' Association
Front row, from left to right: Eric Tang, Founding President, Hong Kong Young Entrepreneur Alliance; Michael Chu, Director of Marketing, SCMP; Gary Lo, President, Federation of International SME; Simon Cheung, Chairman, Hong Kong SME Economic Trade Promotional Association; Jimmy Wan, Founding President, Hong Kong Greater China SME Alliance Association; Sam Chan, 2014 National Business Director, Junior Chamber International HK; Ewins Chiu, Founding Executive Vice President, Hong Kong Greater China SME Alliance Association; Tommy Kwan, Vice President, Federation of International SME)