Key Business Networks to Join in Hong Kong
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When you arrive in Hong Kong, it may be difficult to immediately start networking. This is true both for your social and professional life. First of all, it is important to adjust and get used to how things work in the region. Only then can you really move your focus onto your professional development. You have to be smart when it comes to choosing the networking events and you have to make this selection according to your career and interests.
To make this stage a little less difficult for you, below you can find key business networks that you should consider joining once you settle in.
Chambers of Commerce
The Hong Kong island is home to quite a few Chambers of Commerce. Many of these are very active and offer useful events. Networking opportunities are numerous. For instance, there are American, British, French, and Italian chambers. These chambers are known for their efforts to connect the right people with the right opportunities and they have myriads of members. To do this, chambers of commerce host business networking and other events where people meet and socialize in a room in order to expand their circle of contacts.
Let’s take a better look at some of the most popular Hong Kong chambers of commerce.
Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce
The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce has existed for almost 160 years. This chamber has been working on building a better business environment for everyone from the very beginning.
The people behind this chamber organize over 500 events for their members every year across different industries so that every member can benefit. Their core mission is to promote, represent, and safeguard the interests of the diverse business community in Hong Kong. At the same time, the chamber prioritizes support, training, and business servicing with the aim of instigating growth.
The four key functions of this chamber include:
- Business services
American Chamber of Commerce
The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong is among the largest American Chambers outside of the United States.
In addition, it is the biggest international chamber in Hong Kong and also one of the most dynamic and influential international business organizations in the Asia-Pacific region.
The mission of the AmCham HK is to foster commerce among the United States of America, Hong Kong, and Mainland China. Additionally, the chamber aims at enhancing Hong Kong’s stature as an international business hub.
The core values of the AmCham include:
- Private enterprise
- Free trade
- Rule of law
- Ethical and responsible business practices
- Transparency and the free flow of information
Some nonprofits focus on the youth, some focus on environmental issues, and some are there to raise awareness about various diseases.
Every organization of this kind has to promote social good and progress through its work. The most important part is that the common theme is the promotion of the greater good. Therefore, we could say that this is what mainly defines a nonprofit organization.
You can differentiate nonprofit companies from the rest by the following activities:
- Fundraisers (to support charitable purposes)
- Raising awareness
- Identifying social issues
- Identifying social needs
- Supporting research efforts
British Chamber of Commerce
It may not be the biggest chamber of commerce in Hong Kong, but the British Chamber of Commerce is rather well known nonetheless.
According to the official website, it is the most active international business organization representing a broad span of British, Hong Kong, and international companies doing business in or with the region.
The goal of the British chamber is to help its members grow their business networks in Hong Kong, and to promote their business interests. This is done through advocacy, networking events, and consulting.
It is worth noting that this chamber is not exclusive to the British. There is no requirement regarding ethnicity when it comes to becoming a member. The chamber takes pride in the fact that it has a large number of Hong Kong, Mainland China, and other international companies as its members.
French Chamber of Commerce
The French Chamber of Commerce offers a wide scope of services that will help you and your business take off in Hong Kong. The chamber provides events, corporate services, recruitment, and training, along with business consulting, communication, and advertising. This is all offered with a single end-goal — helping a business expand and grow. The French Chamber has been operating in Hong Kong for more than 30 years. It is governed by 40 councilors that are elected by other members from the Chamber.
Should you become a member, you will have a dedicated team of about 20 professionals willing to work hard to place you in the best position to network, expand, and learn more about the market and the industry you are in.
Network groups on Meetup.com
Meetup.com allows individuals to meet other local professionals interested in networking. The platform is great, the community is highly-knowledgeable and kind. Make sure to consider this website if you need help with networking.
Hong Kong Social Entrepreneurs Meetup
The Hong Kong Social Entrepreneurs Meetup is a meeting platform for social entrepreneurs. Its members of this organization are innovators, changemakers, and socially-conscious trailblazers. This platform offers monthly offline events and daily engagement at the online SE community.
The SE Meetup is now a fully-fledged network of business experts and social welfare practitioners that evidently foster collaboration to tackle various social issues.
Hong Kong Startup Founder 101
The Hong Kong Startup Founder 101 is focused on gathering experienced tech entrepreneurs with the goal of discussing, meeting, collaborating, and building great new startups. On top of that, these individuals want to elevate the local startup scene and bring progress and improvement to everyone involved.
The Startup Founder 101 hosts a number of free events throughout the year where one can learn the best practices of starting a company from professionals who have been through thick and thin.
Hong Kong Business & Social Network
The Hong Kong Business & Social Network is an affiliate of the Global Business & Social Network. The whole network operates in 10 cities and has over 20,000 members.
According to the official page, the mission of this group is to provide professional networking opportunities and establish a safe environment for the members to thrive in their business endeavors.
The group also provides help if you are not yet familiar with Hong Kong and the way things work there. Diversity is celebrated and cross-cultural dialogues are promoted.
The events hosted by this group are not always strictly business. They focus not only on professional development, but also on socialization and entertainment.
The Entrepreneur Networks
The Entrepreneurs Networks (TEN) is a non-profit association that provides networking opportunities for business people. TEN holds regular monthly events that are quite exciting and fun. The more prominent events include harbor junk cruise and Christmas Dinner.
A usual TEN event is a networking event where members get to introduce themselves and talk about their goals and what they need. This is great for those looking to meet industry peers and would like to know the business landscape of the region better. It is not unusual for TEN to organize events with other relevant organizations. This is done to improve the exposure and thus allow members to meet even more people.
A few final tips on attending events and networking
Last but not least, let us give you some useful tips that will come in handy once you start attending networking events.
- First and foremost, always carry business cards with you. Handing out your business card is very important, since the events have many attendees and you will want to be remembered.
- Do not limit your conversations to your professional life. Instead, try to ask interesting questions and avoid cliche questions (about food, weather, and so on).
- Do not try to pitch anything when you first meet someone. If you think that you have a chance to make a fruitful partnership, pitch the idea through a follow-up.
- You should focus on being a go-giver. In other words, do not focus on how others can help you. Instead, find a good balance and try to be helpful. Be a go-giver, not a go-getter.
- Every person is relevant. If you meet a person that is not in your industry and you can’t make anything significant out of your business relationship with them, do not disregard them. Keep in mind that networking isn’t only about business.
- Finally, do not be afraid of networking. This is just another form of socializing but with a different purpose. Meeting new people shouldn’t be a problem if you want good connections.
Good luck with your networking efforts and with your business endeavors in Hong Kong! The region and the people have so much to offer. It is up to you to reap the benefits.