Hong Kong and the mainland are among markets with the highest proportion of millennial entrepreneurs in the world, and those in the city might well earn more than their global counterparts, a recent survey has found.

Forty-four per cent of entrepreneurs in Hong Kong and the mainland were under 35 years old, compared with a global average of 30 per cent for the same age bracket, according to an HSBC report released on Tuesday.

The survey conducted by the global lender’s private banking arm polled more than 2,800 business owners worth between US$250,000 and US$20 million in countries and territories including Hong Kong, Singapore, mainland China, the United States, Germany and France.

The average business turnover of firms run by Hong Kong entrepreneurs stood at US$8 million – far exceeding the global average of US$6.5 million. That was despite another finding in the same report that Hong Kong firms tended to hire 22 fewer people than their counterparts elsewhere.

It was also revealed that women accounted for more than half of all Hong Kong entrepreneurs under 35 years old. Of the city’s surveyed business owners over 55 years old, only 33 per cent were women.

HSBC’s Kevin Herbert said women in Hong Kong and the mainland were “launching and operating new enterprises at an ever faster pace” and that “for the first time ever, we are seeing near gender equality in the next generation of millennial entrepreneurs”.

High-net-worth businessmen in the city were generally younger, with an average age of 37.6 – below the global average of 43.6.

The survey further found family ties played a key role for Hong Kong’s millennial entrepreneurs, as 57 per cent of those surveyed were reared in a family that already ran its own business.

The report stated that “practical support and connections provided within a business-owning family can be invaluable in growing larger enterprises”.

In terms of community engagement, seven out of 10 millennial entrepreneurs in Hong Kong said they were keen to give back to society over the past 12 months.

By CELINE GE Mar. 15, 2016 on the South China Morning Post

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