Hong Kong Welcome Fund

The Mayor of London’s Hong Kong Welcome Fund provides support to British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status holders from Hong Kong and their dependents, to help them to successfully settle in their new communities.

Through this fund, the London Borough of Sutton is working with partners to support the community to enter the UK jobs market, or to start or grow a business. 

British National (Overseas) status holders from Hong Kong and their dependents who are resident in the London Borough of Sutton can book to receive one-to-one advice session from an expert on topics including: 

  • Business Strategy (Mindsetup Ltd)
  • Sales and Marketing (UK Business Mentoring)
  • Marketing and Branding (Design JD)
  • Starting a Business in the UK (Kingston Burrowes Accountants)
  • Commercial Mortgages (MB Associates )
  • Employer obligations when hiring (HR Department)
  • Licencing your business (Regulatory Services)
  • CV advice and preparing for interviews (Matrix)
  • Careers, Education and Job advice (GSS - Careers Services)
  • Training, Advice and Learning (Sutton College)

Further information on each session is available below. All sessions will be held online / through a video call. There are a limited number of sessions available. 

For more information please contact the providers listed below or contact the London Borough of Sutton via business@sutton.gov.uk.

Business and Entrepreneur Support

Mindsetup Ltd

Mindsetup Ltd is an independent business consultant (Emma Mills-Sheffield) who helps business owners to define their growth strategy and run more effective businesses. Her skills come from the experience of spending over 15 years leading projects, training programmes, workshop facilitation and coaching in industry. This mentoring session is designed to offer small business owners, or those looking to start a business, with practical tips and advice in the following areas:

  • understanding and building your business strategy
  • creating a practical business plan
  • funding options for your new business
  • managing your time and priorities as you start a new business

Duration: Up to an hour (either as 1 session or 2 smaller sessions)

You can see an introduction with the provider on our YouTube channel.

UK Business Mentoring

UK Business Mentoring (Mark Roblett) helps business owners to start and grow their businesses through shared experiences. Mark will work with you on the areas you feel are most important for you.

This mentoring session will help you explore some of these questions:

  • Do you have a service or a product you want to introduce to the UK market place?
  • Who is your target market?
  • How are you going to be different?
  • What will your channels to market be?
  • How will you reach your audience?

Mark will cover all of these important elements in our one to one sessions. Including free templates for you to use and reference on your own businesses.

Time: Up to an hour

You can see an introduction with the provider on our YouTube channel.

Design JD

Design JD has been a creative branding specialist since 2006. The founder, Jon Docksey, holds qualifications in information design, and these underpin their approach. This mentoring session will help you explore some of these questions:

  • Starting a new business? How you present your business to the world is critical. Whether you’re planning a startup or have recently launched one, Design JD can help you create a brand and marketing strategy that sets you up for success.
  • Going for growth? You need a brand and marketing strategy that will reflect your ambitions and help you attract the right customers. Design JD will help you design a new look and feel to take your organisation to the next level.

Time: Up to an hour

You can see an introduction with the provider on our YouTube channel.

Kingston Burrowes Accountants

Founded on expert knowledge and dedicated customer service, Kingston Burrowes has been providing accountancy services and tax advice for more than ten years. The key services include personal tax advice and returns, business accounting, corporation tax and VAT returns, bookkeeping, payroll and business start-up support.

This 1-1 session will be delivered by Bruce Burrowes (ACMA), founding partner of Kingston Burrowes and will cover the key ‘need to know’ information when it comes to setting up a business in the UK. The session will explore your business objectives and how you plan to operate, including a consideration of legal business structure.

This step-by-step approach will equip individuals from the Hong Kong community with the tools needed to create a structured business start-up plan, with follow up support available to develop their plan in more detail.

Time: Up to an hour

You can see an introduction with the provider on our YouTube channel.

MB Associates

MB Associates is a highly established mortgage broker serving clients locally in Sutton and Cheam for over 20 years. The sessions will be delivered in conjunction with our commercial partner firm, Brilliant Solutions, which has access to virtually every commercial lending entity in the UK.

Join them for a 1:1 session with an experienced commercial mortgage adviser in which they will establish your property goals and advise on the following:

  • How much deposit you’re likely to need for a commercial purchase
  • Any unique challenges you might face, such as a limited time in the UK to date
  • Why previous business experience is useful

The initial session is completely free. You will pay a fee of 1% of the loan amount only if you decide to proceed to completion. If your application is not completed, you will not pay a fee.

*Any arrangement made between you and any third party is at your sole risk and responsibility. Please do your own research and seek independent financial advice when required.

Time: Up to an hour

You can see an introduction with the provider on our YouTube channel.

The HR Dept.

The HR Dept. provides HR advice and guidance to small and medium sized businesses. They can help you with understanding how to hire your first employee.

They can also support you on your statutory requirements such as employee liability insurance, health & safety obligations, recruiting staff, terms & conditions of employment including annual leave entitlement, pension requirements, national minimum wage and working time regulations as well as a brief overview of discrimination and unfair dismissal.

Time: up to 45 minutes

You can see an introduction with the provider on our YouTube channel.

Regulatory Services, London Borough of Sutton

London Borough of Sutton Regulatory Services and Licensing Service is a collection of several diverse teams within the Council that regulate the businesses in our community and protect the public. They comprise Pollution, Licensing, Health and Safety at Work, Food Hygiene and Safety, (F&S) Residential Housing, the Home Improvement Agency, Trading Standards (TS) and Environmental Compliance.

The team can help you if you need a licence for your business and navigate if you want to:

  • sell alcohol, provide entertainment to your customers, sell hot food or hot drink after 23:00 hours
  • offer nail or beauty treatments or provide a massage
  • open a market stall and sell items to the public
  • opening advice and how to register a food business
  • provide hygiene and allergen training links and sign post you to safe food management documents and other useful resources
  • food industry guidance documents
  • support compliance and help with understanding statutory requirements
  • health and safety advice

We will briefly advise you of the priorities needed to set up your business and provide you with links to signpost you to further advice or procedures.

Time: Up to an hour

You can see an introduction with the provider on our YouTube channel.

Employment Support


Matrix streamlines the way organisations recruit agency staff, and currently works with the London Borough of Sutton. Siobhan and Jodie from the Social Value team at Matrix specialise in supporting people on their journey to employment.

Having worked in partnership with local authorities and thousands of recruitment agencies over the past five years, Matrix’s Social Value team have extensive knowledge of employment practices in the UK and have extensive experience running employability workshops for different groups across our clients’ communities. 

This 1-1 session will offer CV advice, mock interviews, support in searching for work and completing applications. 

Time: Up to an hour 

You can see an introduction with the provider on our YouTube channel.

Global Solution Services (Careers Service)

GSS has provided Careers Information and Guidance predominantly in the South London region since 2008 supporting an estimated 80,000 residents. Supporting them to identify skills, learning opportunities, job seeking skills and preparing them for employment. GSS will offer you one to one support by fully qualified careers professionals to help you understand your options and how to progress in the UK job market including:

  • A review of skills and qualifications comparable to the UK labour market
  • Careers, Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) planning session
  • UK specific job searching tools
  • CV and Interview support
  • Advice on training and learning opportunities
  • Free access to a wide range of employability training

Time: Up to an hour

You can see an introduction with the provider on our YouTube channel.

Sutton College 

Sutton College is an Adult and Community Learning service and has its own purpose-built centre it provides approximately 1,000 courses each year as well as apprenticeships and business training. Sutton College also offers an impartial advice service to help clients plan their future learning and work.

Join the college for an information, advice and guidance session where we can look to support your next steps in learning or future careers. This 1:1 session will enable you to get support in understanding:

  • Training and course advice
  • Advice on career change and progression
  • Support with job application 
  • CV advice

Time: Up to an hour

You can see an introduction with the provider on our YouTube channel.

Booking a session

To book a session, please email the address shown below and copy business@sutton.gov.uk. The email heading should state “Hong Kong Welcome Fund” (unless stated differently below). 

When you email please include:

  • your full name
  • your postcode (which must be in the London Borough of Sutton)
  • confirm you are from Hong Kong on a British Nationals (overseas) visa, or their dependent
  • include a suggestion of when the session could take place (ie good times for you).
  • if you need a translator during the session, please email business@sutton.gov.uk. The Council needs at least 10 days’ notice to arrange this, so please get in touch at the earliest available opportunity

Contact email addresses:

In addition to the guidance provided from partner organisations, we encourage you to seek out your own advice and research where required. 

Data Protection

By emailing to book a session, you consent to the details you provide (including name, postcode, date of session, and confirmation you are eligible for the project) being shared with the London Borough of Sutton, The Greater London Authority and other bodies as nominated by either organisation as set out below.  

  • The support you receive is funded through the Mayor of London's Local Hong Kong Welcome Fund and administered by the London Borough of Sutton
  • Your data will be held, processed and retained securely by the London Borough of Sutton for a period of 6 years following the closure of the Local Hong Kong Welcome Fund fund in line with Greater London Authority guidelines
  • The London Borough of Sutton takes the sensitivity of personal data seriously. Your information may be shared with other other teams across the Council and third parties for the purpose of assessing, verifying and processing your support, reporting and responding to statutory requests only where absolutely needed
  • Your information may also be shared with others, including the Greater London Authority and their nominated third parties for reporting, monitoring and evaluation purposes
  • The London Borough of Sutton may contact you for feedback following support provided
  • Information will be released as required by UK legislation such as Freedom of Information. Read the London Borough of Sutton’s full privacy notice
  • The Greater London Authority privacy notice which sets out how the GLA will handle personal data