Advisory Committee on Enhancing Self-Reliance Through District Partnership Programme

ESR Programme projects

Amount of grant and funding period
How to apply

Priority Accorded to Applications


Forms and guidelines

Corruption Prevention Best Practices

Related links
Contact us


The Enhancing Self-Reliance Through District Partnership Programme (ESR Programme) has been established under the Home Affairs Department since 2006 in response to an initiative of the Commission on Poverty (CoP) to reinforce its work in preventing and alleviating poverty through a district-based approach.



The ESR Programme seeks to promote sustainable poverty prevention and alleviation efforts at the district level that help enhance self-reliance, targeting socially disadvantaged groups, by providing seed grants for eligible organisations to set up social enterprises(the “SEs”). Instead of providing welfare or short-term relief, the ESR Programme aims at increasing the skills and capacities of the socially disadvantaged, providing them opportunities to upgrade themselves and enabling them to be effectively integrated into the community.

The ESR Programme serves as a funding scheme enabling the plurality of SEs with diverse social objectives, plurality of business models and diverse services, targeting at socially disadvantaged groups.

In order to meet the objectives of the ESR Programme, the SEs funded by the ESR Programme are expected to –


achieve the social objectives of helping enhance self-reliance of socially disadvantaged groups and their integration into the community by -
(i) creation of job opportunities upgrading their skills and capacities; and/or (ii) provision of products and/or services to meet their specific needs

(b)  become commercially sustainable following the expiry of ESR funding


Advisory Committee on Enhancing Self-Reliance Through District Partnership Programme

Terms of Reference
The Advisory Committee is established to -


examine and recommend applications for funding;



monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of funded projects; and



advise the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs on all matters related to the administration of the Programme.

Membership (1 July 2016 – 30 June 2018)


Mr SIU Chor-kee BBS MH JP



Ms AU Chor-kwan, Ann
Ms AU Pui-yee, Teresa
Mr CHAN Cham-man, Simon
Mrs CHEUK AU Ching-mei,Corona MH
Mr CHEUNG Hing-wah BBS
Dr CHU Ching-wah, Teresa
Mr LEE Man-bun, Edmond MH
Mr LEUNG Yuk-wai, Kenneth
Mr PAK Fu-hung, Frank JP
Mr PANG Woon-kei, Antony
Prof SIN Yat-ming, Leo
Ms TAM Fung-chee
Mr WONG Kit-lung, Simon JP
Mr WONG Kwong-yiu, Ricky
Mr YAU Kar-fai, Donald
Mr YEUNG Chuen-chow, Thomas
Ms YEUNG Kin-ha, Yvonne
Ms YEUNG Mei-chun, Jeny
Mr YEUNG Po-kui, Ricky
Ms YIP Chun-chun, Ada
Mr YU Wai-wai JP
Representative from the Home Affairs Bureau
Representatives from the Home Affairs Department
Representative from the Labour Department
Representative from the Social Welfare Department


ESR Programme Projects

ESR Programme Project list (PDF)

New ESR Programme Projects


The applicant should be a bona fide non-profit-making organisation which shall be -
(a) a statutory organisation or an organisation registered under the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (e.g. the former Companies Ordinance (Cap. 32) / Companies Ordinance (Cap.622), the Societies Ordinance (Cap. 151), etc.); and
(b) a charitable institution or trust of a public character, which is tax-exempt under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112).

For details, please refer to “Guide to ESR Programme

Pilot Scheme for Non-section 88 Organisations

Under the "Pilot Scheme for Non-section 88 Organisations", we extend the eligibility to accept applications from applicants who are not tax-exempt under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance but should –


be organisations or limited companies registered under the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; and


(i) have non-profit-making undertakings for at least one year; or

(ii) have experience in running SEs (can be in the form of prototype) for at least one year.

In submitting the completed ESR Application Form, these applicants are also required to provide a duly completed prescribed supplementary proforma (i.e. “Proforma for the Pilot Scheme for Non-section 88 Organisations” ) and submit supplementary information/documents. Please refer to Appendix A of the “Guide to ESR Programme” for more details.


Amount of grant and funding period

Each approved project will be funded up to three years at a maximum amount of $3 million.


How to apply

The ESR Programme is open to application all year round, but deadlines are set on a half-yearly basis to enable the corresponding processing of applications in batches. The application timetable is :

Phase 22 applications -

28 February 2017

Please refer to the Guide to ESR Programme to find out more about the ESR Programme, including the objectives, the assessment criteria, the financial arrangement and monitoring mechanism for approved projects.

Applications must be submitted in the specified Application Form. Please check the completeness of application based on the “Checklist of Documents Required for Submitting Applications” of the Application Form. Application which has failed to provide all the required information will be considered as an invalid application and may not be further processed. Please click here to download the Application Form. Completed forms should be sent to the ESR Programme's Secretariat by post / by hand or email at the following address / email.

The Secretariat to the Enhancing Self-Reliance Through District Partnership Programme
Home Affairs Department
31/F, Southorn Centre
130 Hennessy Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong



Priority Accorded to Applications

In consideration of applications, priority may be accorded to social enterprise projects featuring the following characteristics but not limited to –

(a) Strengths of socially disadvantaged : the projects can identify and capitalize on the strengths of the target socially disadvantaged groups in the course of carrying out the SE business.
(b) Significant social impacts : the projects will benefit the socially disadvantaged to a great extent, such as provision of a mechanism to assist the employed socially disadvantaged to move into the open market to benefit as many people as possible, or provision of advancement ladder for the socially disadvantaged employees.
(c) Cross-sector partnership : the projects will involve collaboration among different sectors such as private sector, organisations at district levels, professional bodies.
(d) District-based approach : the projects will adopt district-based approach such as involving collaboration of local organisations, deployment of social capitals (e.g. local resources, network).
(e) Synergy among social enterprises : the projects will involve collaboration and cross-overs among SEs, such as procurement of products / services provided by SEs in the course of carrying out the business of the proposed projects; hence causing synergy and helping development of SE as a whole.
(f) Added values : the projects will create social values and generate positive social impacts in addition to provision of job opportunities and products/services to the socially disadvantaged. For example, enhancing the well-being of the socially disadvantaged, or encouraging social inclusion.

Applications, whether or not with the above characteristics, would continue to be vetted on the basis of individual merits, and on whether they can meet the ESR Programme's objectives and requirements.


Forms and Guidelines


Forms and Guides

Guidelines for Application

Leaflet of ESR Programme (PDF)

Guide to ESR Programme (PDF) (Revised in 06/2016)

Application Form

Application Form (DOC) (PDF) (Revised in 06/2016)

Proforma for "Pilot Scheme for Non-section 88 Organisations" (DOC) (PDF) (06/2016)



Forms and Guides/Notes for Grantees

Notes for Auditors of Grantees (DOC) (PDF) (Revised in 10/2013)

Guideline for Acknowledgment of Funding Support in Publicity Materials of Funded Social Enterprises (PDF) (Revised in 7/2016)

Guidelines on Disposal of Capital Items (PDF) (4/2010)


Authority for Payment to a Bank (GF179A) (PDF) (Revised in 7/2011)

Sample Authority for Payment to a Bank (PDF) and Sample letter (DOC) (PDF) (Revised in 10/2013)

Application for Capital Expenditure Reimbursement (DOC) (PDF) (Revised in 4/2013)

Sample Application for Capital Expenditure Reimbursement (PDF) (Chinese version only) (Revised in 4/2013)

Application for Reimbursement of Auditors' Remuneration (DOC) (PDF) (Revised in 03/2013)


Half-yearly / Annual Performance Report Template (DOC) (Revised in 08/2014)


Corruption Prevention Best Practices

The Corruption Prevention Department of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has developed a set of Best Practice Modules on how to plug corruption loopholes. Appended below the more relevant ones to the Programme grantees. If you would like to know more about corruption prevention guides and practices, you can visit the ICAC website at

  • Strengthening Integrity and Accountability - Grantee's Guidebook (PDF)

  • Internal Control in Social Enterprises (PDF)

  • Guidelines on Disbursement of Grants by Public Funded Organisations (English version only) (PDF)

  • Letting and Administration of Works Contracts in Non-Governmental Organisations (PDF)

  • Payment Procedures (PDF)

  • Subvented Non-Governmental Organisations - Procurement Procedures (PDF)

  • Retail Incentive Programmes (PDF)

  • Sales Receipts Administration (PDF)

  • Sample Code of Conduct for Non-Governmental Organisations (PDF)

  • Stores Management in Non-Governmental Organisations (PDF)

  • Subvented Non-Governmental Organisations - Staff Administration (PDF)




Briefings were held to brief non-governmental organisations on various topics of the ESR Programme. The relevant briefing materials are appended below -

  • Key factors in successful applications (Chinese version only) (PDF)

  • Tips on writing of business plan (Chinese version only) (PDF)

Visits to Social Enterprises by the Advisory Committee of the ESR Programme

To understand the progress of the social enterprise projects approved under the ESR Programme, the Advisory Committee, together with the ESR Secretariat, would visit the social enterprises on regular basis. During the visits, Members of the Committee would normally exchange views with the social enterprise operators and suggest improvement measures on matters relating to business strategies, daily operation, management and promotion, etc of the social enterprise concerned.

Promotional Activities

The social enterprises under the ESR Programme have been arranged to participate in various fairs to promote their products and services as well as to enhance people’s knowledge on them. The attractive and popular fairs with their participation can be found here.



ESR Programme Newsletter

  • First Issue ~ Chinese version only (PDF)

  • Second Issue ~ Chinese version only (PDF)

  • Third Issue ~ Chinese version only (PDF)

  • Fourth Issue ~ Chinese version only (PDF)

  • Fifth Issue ~ Chinese version only (PDF)

  • Sixth Issue ~ Chinese version only (PDF)

  • Seventh Issue ~ Chinese version only (PDF)

  • Eighth Issue ~ Chinese version only (PDF)

  • Ninth issue ~ Chinese version only (PDF)


Related links

The Government's dedicated website on Social Enterprises

Home Affairs Bureau

Commission on Poverty


Contact us

Email Address:
Tel No.: 2835 1383
Address: The Secretariat to the Enhancing Self-Reliance Through District Partnership Programme
Home Affairs Department
31/F, Southorn Centre
130 Hennessy Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong