Half of Hong Kong's millionaire entrepreneurs are women, earning more than their male counterparts: New international study

Global survey also finds higher percentage in the city earn over US$15 million compared to wealthy businesswomen in the UK and Germany

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 December, 2015, 10:23am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 December, 2015, 11:54am

About half of the entrepreneurs in the city are women and they are richer than their male counterparts, research by HSBC’s private banking business.

It found that some 48 per cent of entrepreneurs were female, with the average wealth of the surveyed women being US$3.7 million.

The study examined 2,834 respondents who actively owned or derived their wealth principally from a business and had a minimum personal wealth of more than US$1 million. It included Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore, the UK, Germany, France, the US, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

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The online research was conducted by wealth management consultant Scorpio Partnership for HSBC Private Bank between August and September this year.

The research showed there was a greater proportion of female entrepreneurs in the city high up the wealth scale, with 67 per cent of them enjoying a net worth of over US$15 million, compared to 33 per cent hitting that figure in the surveyed Western countries – 28 per cent in the UK and 21 per cent in Germany.

The average worth of surveyed female entrepreneurs in the city was US$3.7 million, compared to an average worth of US$3.3 million for their local male counterparts.

The research also showed local entrepreneurs regardless of gender displayed notably different career trajectories to those in the West. Many tended to start earlier and relied more heavily on support from family and friends.

For those surveyed in Hong Kong, their average age for setting up their first business was 27, compared to 34 in the West.

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Bernard Rennell, regional head of HSBC Global Private Banking Asia-Pacific, said of the local phenomenon: “Many of today’s young entrepreneurs come from families with their own businesses where they were encouraged to take an active role in the family business.”

Some 53 per cent of surveyed entrepreneurs in Hong Kong came from business-owning families, compared to 42 per cent in the US and the surveyed European countries.

The research also found that entrepreneurs in the city were much more likely to be focused on their ventures for the long-term than their Western counterparts.

About 32 per cent locally intended to exit, compared with 55 per cent in the UK planning to sell their business.

The findings were scheduled to be included in HSBC Private Bank’s Essence of Enterprise report, due for release early next year.