Young entrepreneurs seeking financial support from the government will have to demonstrate that they had pursued a minimum of 42 hours of technical or academic training in business administration or a related field, the Macau SAR Government announced yesterday during a press conference held at its headquarters.
The measure is one of six changes approved to amend the Young Entrepreneurs Aid Scheme, aimed at “broadening the scope of beneficiaries . . . strengthening training activities . . . [and] . . . simplifying application procedures and formalities,” said Executive Council spokesperson Leung Heng Teng.
Exemption of the 42 hour-plus training is allowed for applicants holding a higher education degree or a certificate from a course of duration of no less than one year in the field of business.
Expanding the scope beyond those young entrepreneurs who seek support from the scheme to set up their first business, young entrepreneurs – defined as aged 21 to 44 – who already have business experience are now allowed to apply.
Those who have previously received support from the Industrial and Commercial Development Fund (FDIC) may not.
Applicants now no longer need supply documents including the declaration of initiation of activities related to industrial taxation themselves, and copies of the commercial registry and the company’s constitutive act, as the relevant departments will communicate to source them.
Increased oversight of activities performed by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) supported by the scheme will also be put in place.
Deadlines for reimbursement will be tightened. Members of the scheme who do not pay back loan instalments within nine months will have their support terminated whilst those who fail to pay the final instalment of the loan will have their support terminated within three months.

The maths
The scheme has disbursed MOP246.37 million to fund entrepreneurial projects since its launch on August 1, 2013 to July 31 of this year, a spokesperson for the Macao Economic Services (DSE) said during the press conference yesterday.
The amount covers 1,037 approved applications of 1,479 applications submitted over the period. The number of applications rejected reached 214, while the remaining 288 consist of applications still under evaluation.
The number of concessions cancelled during the period reached 188, corresponding to MOP43.33 million.
“Cases of cancellation of concessions take place when companies opt to stop receiving the funding because they have raised enough capital, because they have cancelled their activities, or have not presented a report,” DSE’s spokesperson explained.
The government revealed that 63 cancellations have been completely reimbursed, totalling MOP15.15 million.
Coercive collection of amounts due, totalling 53 cases, reached some MOP12.59 million.
In terms of sector of activity, the retail business received the majority of funds allocated, corresponding to 48 per cent of the total, or MOP118.21 million.
The second most important group was that of restaurants and hotels, totalling MOP29.50 million, or 12 per cent of the funds attributed.
Other sectors of economic activity financed by the scheme include vehicle repair, wholesale trade, education and healthcare, construction and public works, import and export, and cultural and recreational activities, among others.

Valuing qualifications
Highly qualified professionals willing to start careers in public service will be exempted from undergoing recruitment per the centralised recruitment system, according to information also provided yesterday by the Executive Council spokesperson.
According to the amendment to the regulations on recruitment, selection and training of staff for public services, six situations define the conditions under which candidates can be directly admitted to the examination of professional or functional competencies, without having to participate in the examination of integrated competencies.
Following the amendment, two recruitment modalities are enacted.
The evaluation of integrated competencies will be overseen by the Administration and Public Services Bureau (SAFP). The evaluation of professional or functional competencies will be conducted by the relevant service involved in the recruitment of staff.
Overall, the six situations to be considered by specific recruitment procedures include academic qualifications and higher education training, experience in positions of directorship, and functions within departments of the public administration such as the Office of the Chief Executive, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office and the Office of the President of the Court of Final Appeal.