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First MFE ‘Start-up Launchpad’ Day Shares Stories of Business Success

2017-07-30

In order to encourage entrepreneurship among young people, the 2017 Macao Franchise Expo (2017MFE) marked its third and final day via the “Start-up Launchpad” Day, inviting successful entrepreneurs to share their business experiences with participants.

The newly-launched “Start-up Launchpad” Day had four themes, namely: “Important Considerations for Bringing a New International Franchise Brand to Greater China”; “Road to being a Michelin Brand – Sharing by Lei's Cuisine”; “My Start-up Ladies”; and “MFE-Bank of China Start-up Launchpad Competition Award Ceremony”.

Mr Troy Franklin, senior administrator of World Franchise Associates, says there is a wide range of franchising enterprises around the world so it is very important to choose a franchising industry in which one is really interested. A passion for one's chosen industry is necessary: without it, there could be a lack of motivation and engagement in operations, making it difficult to continue the business. He notes that – typically in business – once a transaction is completed, no subsequent relationship is required between the parties concerned. But in the franchising industry, the co-operative relationship might be maintained for a decade or even longer, which requires great passion and engagement. Adequate cash reserves are also required, in order to guard against the risk of overexpansion and any unforeseen events.

Mr Lei Kai Chau, managing director of a local catering group with a restaurant recommended by Michelin, says that he first started his business in 2000, but failed because he was too anxious to expand it. After several years he started a new business. Learning from past experiences, he tried to maintain a steady development. His main business includes catering management; takeaway food distribution services and the wholesaling and retailing of cooking sauces. One of his restaurants even earnt a Michelin recommendation. Mr Lei points out that in doing business, one must take into account many things: human resources; financial management; and laws and regulations among other things. Having only one skill is not enough. The business operator should learn continuously, spending a lot of effort on how to provide guests with a better service and on increasing competitiveness. Mr Lei recommends that young people should first gain two or three years of work experience, accumulating social skills and a network of contacts, before considering starting their own business. They should understand well their own strengths and consider the direction of development and market positioning of their venture. After careful consideration of these things, they can avoid investing blindly, and will find it easier to succeed.

Earlier during the “Start-up Launchpad” Day, a competition on young entrepreneurship was held by a local financial institution. A team of three second year students from a local university took top prize, with a proposal for a “Travel Agency for Senior Citizens”. One of the team members, Liang Yong Xuan, explained that while the number of elderly in the population in Macao was increasing, there were only limited options for travel services catering for them and their travel needs. The team was delighted to win the competition, and hoped to find investors in order to turn their proposal into an actual business.

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The inaugural 'Start-up Launchpad' Day at 2017MFE