Students raise funds for cause

By Zhang Zefeng in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-11 07:58

Students raise funds for cause

A team from Sichuan University wins the top sales award in an annual on-campus charity event. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In June, Sichuan University student Xu Bin and his teammates drafted business plans and organized working groups to "target" customers among fellow students and faculty members.

Their sales tactics paid off - in just two days, Xu's team sold around 455,100 yuan ($69,000) of cosmetic products. The feat was part of an annual on-campus event called the L'Oreal Campus Charity Sales.

On Sept 21, an award ceremony for the campaign rolled out at Shanghai's Fudan University. Student groups from 15 Chinese universities, including Peking University, Nanjing University and Shanghai International Studies University, together raised around 5.7 million yuan for the event.

Xu's team won the top sales award.

"This is a great opportunity to practice business," says the 20-year-old marketing major.

"It allows business students like us to work on real projects without walking out of the campus."

Initiated by L'Oreal China and the China Youth Development Foundation, the event aims to raise money to help students in western China. All proceeds go toward educational purposes, according to the organizers.

The event attracted students from different majors to showcase their talent. Shi Yihong, 20, who studies teaching Chinese as a foreign language at Zhejiang University, says she worked with a very diverse team.

"We had members from different departments getting together to contribute to our business strategies," she says. "It also helped us to view a much larger market."

Shi used her field of expertise and developed advertisements in English and Korean to target international students on campuses. The team raked in about 382,000 yuan in total.

The students also found out that schoolmates from different countries and regions define beauty in various ways, so they produced videos to "redefine" perceptions.

In the past, some would associate fair skin with beauty, but that perception is changing, Shi says.

"Actually, identifying your own unique qualities and respecting others who are different from you is also a form of beauty."

Many others say they have gained valuable experience and positive influences from the event.

Fudan University alumnus Wang Xingyu says participating in the campus sales potentially altered his career path. In 2014, Wang's team broke the sales record and won the first place. That achievement brought him a lot of confidence.

"Even though my specialty was international politics, the experience made me think about trying something beyond my field," says Wang, 25.

He later furthered his studies at New York University and spent a year working for a New York-based incubator and angel investor for various projects.

In June, Wang returned to China and set up a social enterprise called Village Note, focusing on tourism-based poverty elimination projects.

The company plans to take students to poverty-stricken regions to carry out social research. It has also been working on setting up writing camps to offer students creative writing lessons involving Chinese literary destinations such as Fenghuang county in Hunan province, home to famous writer Shen Congwen.

Wang says the campus activity made him understand that charity "isn't all about donating money or books. You can actually use commercial models to do philanthropy".

This year is the 15th year of the L'Oreal Campus Charity Sales. Since its launch in 2003, the activity has covered 26 universities from 17 cities.

"Over the past 15 years, we've witnessed groups of students participating in charity sales, harvesting new business ideas and entering society with love and responsibility," says L'Oreal China's vice-president Lan Zhenzhen.


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