From left to right: Yvonne So, Director, HKTDC Corporate Communications & Marketing; Dr Patrick Lau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director; Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau; Fred Sheu, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Hong Kong
The combination of best-in-class technology, practical learning and comprehensive support programs will expedite SME’s digital transformation and workforce competitiveness
27 October 2022 – The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and Microsoft Hong Kong today announced a new partnership to jointly launch the “Go Beyond Your Limits” Programme to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and foster next-generation talent in Hong Kong by leveraging best-in-class technology, practical learning and various support measures. The programme aims to achieve two key goals. First, it will help Hong Kong’s SMEs take tangible steps to pursue their digital transformation and seize new market opportunities under the new normal. Second, it will provide a series of learning opportunities for tertiary students in Hong Kong, helping to enhance their business-related digital skills and knowledge.
Dr Patrick Lau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said: “Our Transformation Sandbox (T-box) has helped more than 2,400 Hong Kong enterprises over the past two-plus years to realise different business transformation goals. Some of the most commonly seen goals relate to digitalization, which is undoubtedly a powerful tool for companies to reshape their business, enhance their competitiveness and drive innovation. The HKTDC is delighted to partner with leading global technology company Microsoft Hong Kong to jointly launch the ‘Go Beyond Your Limits’ Programme. By integrating teaching, consulting and practical knowledge sharing, we aim to help SMEs in T-box to make good use of digital tools, and to equip tertiary students joining the HKTDC Trade Ambassador Programme (TAP) to become the digital economy talents of tomorrow’s Hong Kong.”
Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau, said: “Microsoft Hong Kong is committed to empowering local SMEs to accelerate digital transformation and uplift businesses across Hong Kong. Through a holistic approach that encompasses Microsoft’s technologies such as Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 (ERP), one-to-one diagnosis and advising on funding applications for SMEs, we hope to empower them to do more with less and assist them to identify new market opportunities. For decades, we have focused on upskilling next-gen talent, digital empowerment and making the best technology available to enable SMEs to thrive and scale their business. We’re excited to be a part of the HKTDC’s ‘Go Beyond Your Limits’ Programme in conjunction with T-box and TAP and we look forward to creating synergies that can inspire more local businesses and support talent development across different sectors in Hong Kong.”
Dr Lau added: “The HKTDC’s work is always in line with the policy direction of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. Policies to facilitate the development of the local technology industry and enlarge the I&T talent pool in Hong Kong were highlighted in the Policy Address 2022 released by the Chief Executive last week. Accordingly, the HKTDC will put further emphasis on helping Hong Kong enterprises and young people to thrive in the digital economy. We already do this through our conferences and exhibitions, business support and promotional activities infused with various technology elements, and this new partnership with Microsoft Hong Kong is a timely way to further reinforce our commitment.”
“Go Beyond Your Limits” Programme aims to achieve two key goals:
1. Promoting SME digitalisation to increase operational efficiency
Riding on the HKTDC Transformation Sandbox (T-box) programme, and with invaluable support from Microsoft, the “Go Beyond Your Limits” Programme will offer support to more than 2,400 participating enterprises with the Mobile Office Portfolio, free one-to-one enterprise diagnosis and professional training courses to enhance their competitiveness. The programme will provide targeted solutions and follow-up support according to each enterprise’s specific stage of development and business needs. The programme will also help SMEs identify and apply for suitable funding schemes to expedite their business development goals. Highlights of the “Go Beyond Your Limits” Programme include:
- Mobile Office Portfolio plus special offers for T-box members
The Mobile Office Portfolio offers Microsoft 365 and Cloud PC solutions with a high-speed 5G network that allows businesses to unlock seamless hybrid work capabilities. T-box members can enjoy two months’ rebate with a one-year subscription to Microsoft 365 for Business.
- Free one-to-one enterprise diagnosis and workshops
Microsoft will provide participating T-box members with free one-to-one enterprise management diagnosis that can help them formulate a suitable digital transformation strategy. There are also free workshops on Dynamics 365 ERP to help SMEs strengthen and streamline their operations flow and management.
- Assistance with funding applications
Microsoft will assist SMEs to identify and apply for suitable funding schemes and financial assistance so that they can accelerate implementation and expedite their business transformation goals.
During the pandemic, remote working, automated business and production procedures and e-commerce became the new normal across enterprises of all sizes. As businesses continue their transformation journey, companies across all sectors of the Hong Kong economy will continue to look for new market opportunities with innovation and technologies. And as market and consumer demands continue to shift, enterprises will need to make the best use of new technologies to ensure effective allocation of resources and business processes, maximise operational efficiency and realise cost savings. This will help them capitalise on this new wave of innovation and adopt technologies to meet customer needs and expand into new markets.
2. Committed to nurturing young talents
The HKTDC Trade Ambassador Programme (TAP) was launched to help the younger generation equip themselves for future entrepreneurship, career development, as well as broaden their business horizons. In collaboration with tertiary institutions in Hong Kong, the full-year programme will consist of opportunities to participate in the numerous activities and initiatives organised by the HKTDC so that they can gain a more in-depth understanding and perspective of trade and commerce both within Hong Kong and internationally.
Another important role for Microsoft Hong Kong is to provide next-gen talent with cross-disciplinary learning and practical opportunities to develop a pool of IT specialists that can support the future development of Hong Kong. Microsoft will equip 1,200 TAP students with future-ready IT skills through expert talks, Microsoft Learn online courses, instructor-led tutorials and free examinations on Microsoft Fundamentals, a series of industry-recognised certifications for IT generalists to gain knowledge on digital transformation and to validate their skills relating to the cloud, data, artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity standards and compliance. Students will also be entitled to free US$100 Azure Credits via the Azure for Students programme to enjoy free services on the Azure Portal and to have a hands-on trial of Azure cloud solutions, including but not limited to building their own apps, exploring AI, and working with big data sets.
“Go Beyond Your Limits” Programme website: https://home.hktdc.com/en/s/microsoft
In order to assist SMEs to explore opportunities and realised their business transformation, the HKTDC Transformation Sandbox (“T-box”) support programme aims to help SMEs enhance their business competitiveness and achieve upgrading and transformation goals in the areas of branding, e-commerce, manufacturing and supply chain as well as access to new markets. Dedicated T-box staff work with enterprises to identify their goals and provide support over a three-month period, with group and individualised advisory services covering workshops, government-funding information, market knowledge and networking opportunities. The programme has been well received since its launch, with more than 2,400 Hong Kong companies participating and over 600 free consultations provided by professional organisations, chambers of commerce representatives, business partners and HKTDC overseas offices. Website: https://smesupport.hktdc.com/en/s/tbox
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn
HKTDC Media Room: https://mediaroom.hktdc.com/en/pressrelease
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.