Female students get help to start business

Updated: 2011-10-06 08:00

By Cang Wei (China Daily)

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BEIJING - Female college students in China will receive more policy and financial support from the government to promote entrepreneurship, according to the All-China Women's Federation.

"A three-month program to encourage female college students to follow through on their ideas and set up in business has been launched," Song Xiuyan, the federation's vice-president, said last week.

She said that small-business loans will be among the resources offered to participants.

A survey by the federation last year found that limited access to business resources was one of three primary obstacles facing female college students who want to start their own businesses. The other two were sex discrimination and stereotypes about good jobs for women.

"I have established six kindergartens that have more than 600 children and 100 staff members with the help of favorable policies," said Wang Hongzhi, who graduated from Beijing-based China Women's University in 2002.

However, she said, lack of access to finance brought her much trouble during her initial business venture, in Luoyang, Central China's Henan province.

Cai Minghua, a senior student from Quanzhou, East China's Fujian province, said: "I don't have enough money to start a business, nor do I know where to find investors."

Cai, 21, has decided to look for a job instead of running her own business. "Among my 40 classmates, only one or two are willing to become women innovators."

Liu Guangwei, a student at China Women's University, also said that most of her classmates are not interested in entrepreneurship. "I myself want to have my own business, but I don't know how to make a detailed plan."

Song, the federation official, said this is not the first program to encourage women in China to run small businesses. Others have been sponsored by government agencies and social organizations.

For example, a network of mentors was formed in March 2009 to help female college students grow into businesswomen. About 130,000 students have received entrepreneurial training and guidance from 12,000 mentors, and more than 6,000 business practice bases have been established.

An effort that was started last December has provided 100 business programs, which require small investment and are easy to handle, to female students.

Local taxation bureaus across China have also made tax relief programs to support the entrepreneurship, according to a Beijing bureau official who gave only the name Cao.

The women's federation said more forums, exhibitions and competitions will be held to create a friendly environment for female students, and successful entrepreneurs will be invited to give lectures at hundreds of universities.

China Daily

(China Daily 10/06/2011 page2)