Plan your own path

By Wong Yat-hei

More young Hongkongerswant to start their own business, but being a boss is hard work

By Wong Yat-hei |

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Joe Wong started a restaurant after graduation.

In Hong Kong's gloomy job market, many fresh university graduates only command a salary of around HK$10,000. As such, an increasing number of young people are considering starting their own business.

A survey by Youth Entrepreneur Warrior, an organisation that encourages young people to pursue entrepreneurship, showed income as the major reason many would choose to start a business.

Over April and May, the organisation surveyed more than 500 people between the ages of 15 and 35, 90 per cent of whom have completed tertiary-level education or above. The survey revealed that 57 per cent of the interviewees think accumulating wealth is the driving force behind owning a business.

Thanks to information technology, starting a business has become increasingly easier, but nearly 60 per cent of the interviewees think Hong Kong's business environment is unsatisfactory. They hope to receive training on how to run a successful business.

Speaking at the Youth Entrepreneur Warrior press conference on Tuesday, successful business owner Joe Wong shared his experience of opening a restaurant right after he graduated from City University of Hong Kong in 2010. Like many young business owners, he was short on capital.

"Without the support of my family, I could not have done it," he says.

Being your own boss may sound cool, but Wong says it is not the career for everyone.

"I advise those who want to be a boss to think carefully if their personality is suitable. You need to be self-disciplined because there is no one to monitor you. You need to inspire yourself to work hard and act as a role model for your staff," he says

"If you are self-disciplined and possess leadership quality then being a business owner might be the career for you."

And if not?

"You're better off as a member of the working class."