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Topical Issues

“Seed Money” Project

  • It is the Government’s policy to promote and enhance employment opportunities for people with disabilities and help them integrate into mainstream employment market. It is recognized that an enterprise-driven approach (instead of a sheltered environment) serves the dual purpose of creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities and training up disabled persons with lower work ability for open employment.

  • In order to foster such development, a one-off provision of $50 million was announced in the 2001/02 Budget for the Enhancing Employment of People with Disabilities through Small Enterprise Project(“Seed MoneyProject). Non-govermental organizations (NGOs) can apply for a maximum grant of $2 million for each business, which is offered in the form of a non-recurrent grant to support the initial capital expenditure and the first-year operation. The businesses should be self-sustaining in the long run and employing people with disabilities to fill no less than 60 per cent of its total posts on the payroll.

  • There are currently 31 such approved businesses operating in retail, catering, car cleaning, repair and maintenance, laundry, recycling, tele-survey service, mobile massage, travel and conference service, eco-tourism. As at June 2005, 396 posts were created (290 disabled and 106 able-bodied) by the 31 social enterprises in the Project. There are also other positive social outcome including building of social capital, increased self-esteem for the people with disabilities etc.