A small-business start-up fund, set up by Centaline Property Agency founder Shih Wing-ching, will be formally launched at the end of this month. Proceeds of the am730 Startup Fund will be used to help Hong Kong people who believe they have a sound business idea but need capital to make their dreams come true, according to the fund's chief executive, Terence Muk. 'We will be willing to give up to HK$5 million to each start-up,' said Muk. He said the fund had been capitalised to the tune of about HK$20 million but would receive further injections of money if it was needed. To mark its official launch, the fund will host a seminar on May 28, when Shih will discuss the challenges of starting a business and share his business philosophy. 'All capital in the fund comes from the Shih Wing Ching charitable foundation,' said Muk. The value of the foundation is not publicly known, but in 2008 Shih transferred all his shares in Centaline and am730, a free tabloid newspaper he established in 2005, into the fund. 'Anyone who has sound ideas can send a proposal to us,' said Muk. While venture capital generally favours industries which can generate big profits, Muk said the am730 Startup Fund would be different. 'We aim to help Hong Kong start-ups. We will support potential business on a very small scale that might be a bakery shop or a shop selling egg waffles,' he said. The fund will provide seed capital in the form of convertible debt, equity or other instruments. 'We expect our stakes to grow organically in ventures in the long term,' said Muk. He also hopes the investments will generate reasonable returns for the fund. Businesses backed by the fund will have to abide by Shih's business philosophy, which means that one-third of the profit has to be distributed among employees and one-third to shareholders, including the am730 Startup Fund, with the remainder kept for future development. Muk said the fund was named after the newspaper because it was a proven example of Shih's business philosophy.