New economy comes to the rescue of old

Rejected by the big banks, cash-strapped SMEs affected by the financial crisis are now turning to internet-based financing solutions.

The Asian financial crisis hit small- to medium-sized enterprises SMEs hard in Hong Kong. While the media is awash with stories of financial institutions and venture capitalists throwing cash at dotcom-ers, old economy SMEs are strapped for cash.

When Tony Li, managing director of Upgrade Business Forms Manufactory, wanted to expand his printing business, he baulked at the idea of approaching his bank for a loan. Despite Upgrade's good relationship with the bank and sound track...

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