Impact Incubator FAQ



1. What is Impact Incubator?


The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) was appointed as one of the Intermediaries of the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund) in December of 2014, to provide grant management and incubation support to social entrepreneurship. HKCSS launched a one-stop supporting platform Impact Incubator to carry out works in “Capacity Building” and “Innovation Programmes”, and to incubate the developments of innovative projects in different types and stages (including Prototype, Start-up and Scale-up).



2. What services will be provided by Impact Incubator? What is its uniqueness?


Through a series of “Capacity Building” and “Innovation Programmes”, granted projects (except prototype) will undergo ‘Five Is Incubation Process’ to equip with necessary skills and knowledge for better implementation of project ideas.


Inspire     – Satisfy unmet social needs by utilizing untapped resources in the community.

Incubate  – Acquire major skills and knowledge from our consultants, social angels and trainers.

Innovate  – Establish extensive collaboration network with peers and spark new ideas and innovative solutions.

Invest       – Match projects with appropriate funds through our Good Impact Fund platform.

Influence – Learn how to estimate and evaluate social impact.


Further details please refer to Leaflet of Impact Incubator



3. What kind of projects will be granted by Impact Incubator?


Impact Incubator accepts all applications which align with the funding objectives of SIE Fund in poverty alleviation.



4. Who will be eligible to grant from SIE Fund?


SIE Fund will fund different stages of project development, including Prototype, Start-up and Scale-up. Application in the name of individual, organization or company will be accepted.



  •  Prototype  – Hong Kong permanent citizens aged 18 or above, organization or company registered under the laws of the HKSAR.
  •  Start-up     – Organization or company registered under the laws of the HKSAR.
  •  Scale-up    – Organization or company registered under the laws of the HKSAR.



5. The maximum amount of grant and supporting period of each project.


Projects in different stages have different amount of grant and funding period, details are as follows:

  •    Projects of Prototype have maximum* amount of grant at or below HKD100,000. Maximum project period is no more than 1 year.
  •    Projects of Start-up have maximum* amount of matching fund at or below HKD1,000,000. Maximum project period is no more than 3 years.
  •    Projects of Scale-up have maximum* amount of matching fund at or below HKD1,000,000. Maximum project period is no more than 3 years.


*If your budget exceeds the concerned amount, please contact Impact Incubator. If the required amount of matching fund of the application is higher than the maximum amount, Impact Incubator, Joint Vetting Committee and Proposal Assessment Committee will consider separately based on the social impact, innovativeness and sustainability of the project.



6. How to define projects under stages of Prototype, Start-up and Scale-up?


Below is brief description of 3 stages: Prototype, Start-up and Scale-up:

  •    Prototype: have initial ideas and implementation plan, but not yet execute.
  •    Start-up:   already developed detailed ideas and implementation plan, and made initial attempt.
  •    Scale-up:  already under well-developed operation, next step is to scale-up, to bring greater social impact.



7. Who are the targeted applicants of Impact Incubator?


We accept applications registered in individual, organizational and in company, targets including:

  •   Social entrepreneur who attempts to tackle poverty problem through a sustainable business solution.
  •   Social intrapreneur from NGO or private sector, who mobilizes internal resources for social good.
  •   Social innovator who adopts creative approach to address social needs.



8. The application period starts at what time? How to submit business proposal?


Impact Incubator accepts applications all year round since 21st April, 2015. Applicants can register an online account in Impact Incubator website, and submit their proposals and required documents through online system. If you find any enquiry, please contact us.



9. Are non charitable organizations eligible for application of the SIE Fund?


Yes. Application in the name of individual, organization or company will be accepted. Please refer to

Question 4.



10. Is it a must for the innovative programme being a social enterprise?


Either social enterprises with business model or social innovation programme without a business model will be welcome. Please refer to Question 7.



11. What criteria will be used for the Vetting Committee when assessing applications?


All applications will be assessed and evaluated by Impact Incubator, Joint Vetting Committee and/or Proposal Assessment Committee. Vetting criteria includes:

 Vision and strategic direction
 Implementation / execution and innovativenes
 Social Impact
 Cost Effectiveness




12. Can the unsuccessful applicants of grant join the Capacity Building programmes?


All individuals and/or interested parties are welcome to join Impact Incubator’s Capacity Building programmes, however, priority will be given to grantees.



13. What is matching fund?


When applicants submit applications in “Start Up’ and ‘Scale Up’ projects, they will be required to solicit not less than 50% of total budget as matching fund before application (in calculation of maximum ration in1:1of matching fund and grant).


In general, matching fund means initials capitals excluding SIE Fund and other subsidized funding from Hong Kong SAR Government.. It can be in-cash or in-kind. The matching fund amount will be subject to relevant terms and condition and be confirmed after approval.



14. What documents need to be provided for proving the application is granted matching fund?


When applicants submit applications in “Start Up’ and ‘Scale Up’ projects, they will be required to solicit not less than 50% of total budget as matching fund before application (in calculation of maximum ration in1:1of matching fund and grant) . If matching fund including in kind sponsorship, applicants need to provide the valuation assessment document of the in-kind support. When the application is approved, a written commitment of securing matching fund will be required. Upon signing agreement, grantee will be required to deposit the corresponding amount of matching fund (All or partial) before the grant payment.



15. Will Impact Incubator help to find matching fund?


We will facilitate potential applicants to solicit external funding for matching.



16. How long will it take from submission of application to receiving notification of application result?


Vetting time depends on the completeness of application materials submitted by the applicant (please check the document checklist). After the preliminary screening, the applicant will receive initial reply, comment / suggestion from the Judging Panel, or maybe required to revise on proposal, budget and/or provide other supplementary documents. Under normal circumstance, the initial result will be released within 50-60 working days.



17. What kind of expenditures can be funded by SIE Fund?


In general, the grant from SIE Fund can be used in 1) Capital expenditures and 2) Operating deficit. Further details please refer to the covering scope of cost expenditure, or contact staff of Impact Incubator.



18. How to divide net profit of granted projects?


We expect granted projects can be sustainable. If granted projects have net profit, not less than 65% of the distributable profits arising from the Project have to be reinvested in the business under prior consent of Impact Incubator and the SIE Fund Task Force. It means no more than 35% of the distributable profits can be distributed to the shareholders. For details, please contact us.



19. What is the responsibility of project responsible person/team?


Applicants have to submit all required documents and confirm that all information provided is valid; otherwise the application will not be processed. Granted project owner/management team has to sign the Grant Agreement with SIE Fund and intermediary (HKCSS) and implement the project according to the social objectives and financial objectives promised on the agreement. The Grantee will be required to submit Progress / Final Reports, Financial Reports and Evaluation Report according to the schedules of the agreement. Grantees are compulsory to attend at least 4 Capacity Building programmes, including Social Impact Assessment workshop, Business Clinic and Peer-to-peer learning session.


Remarks: based on the signed agreement version.



20. What kind of documents needed to be handed in by applicants?


The following documents shall be required for an application:


 Duly completed application form
 Budget Plan and Impact Assessment form
 Declaration form (Declaring if the project is currently applying or accepting grant
       from government or other organization).
 Corporate governance (CG) plan (except individual applicants)
 Registration documents e.g. Business Registration Certificate, Certificate of Incorporation and
      Articles of Association, etc.
 Documentary proof of matching fund and / or sponsorship from other sources (if applicable)



21. If the application is not accepted, can I submit business plan proposal again?


Same business plan proposal cannot be re-submitted. Yet we welcome the applicant submit a new proposal after making certain amendment.



22. Can the applying organization or company submit more than one application proposal?


Applying organization or company can submit more than one application proposal, yet their contents cannot be duplicated.



23. I have proposal or innovative ideas, yet I do not know if it is suitable to apply for SIE Fund, what can I do?


Please feel free to contact us during the office hours (0900-1730) from Monday to Friday.



24. After the project period, can I continue to use your services?


Within the project period, each granted project (not including Prototype project) will be assigned an experienced business consultant to follow the progress of implementation. After one year project incubation period, Social Enterprise Business Centre will provide appropriate follow up support.



25. How can I contact you?


If you find any enquiry, please contact us in below means.

Phone: 28762491




Office hours are from Monday to Friday 0900-1730. Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays are closed. For appointment meeting, please schedule in advance.

Video Intro

Find us on Facebook