A FRESH START
China’s young people, driven to change the world, are launching companies on a massive scale, reports.
Huang is a mentor for budding CEOs through the privately run Fujian Haixi Youth Start-up Fund and China Youth Start-up Fund. Yet many others are flying blind.
According to the Global Entrepreneur Monitor research, 87 percent of China’s entrepreneurs have had no formal training in how to start and maintain a business. In places such as Europe and the US the figure is 68 percent.
The report also added that Chinese start-ups find it hard to secure loans from banks or other financial institutions.
It found that 9 percent received financing from a bank, about 58 percent obtained funds from relatives, whereas in developed countries the corresponding figures were about 23 percent and 14 percent.
“Compared with developed economies, the financial support and vocational education for entrepreneurs in China lags behind,” said Gao Jian at Tsinghua University. “However, the situation is getting better, as governments are putting in more effort.”
Yi Ran is the founder and CEO of Beijing Juhuiwan Interactive Technology, a company that provides corporate team-building solutions and is based in an innovation incubator in Zhongguancun, the so-called Silicon Valley of Beijing.
The 29-year-old said conditions have improved for start-ups in China in recent years, but the boom time now means competition for financing is fierce.
“Local governments now provide financing platforms and have improved the infrastructure for start-up companies like us, which helps a lot,” he said. “But globally speaking, start-ups are getting stronger, and it’s not easy to get funding.
“Start-ups need to seek multiple investors for seed money, and how to work with these investors is also a challenge,” he added, saying that he has refused capital in the past from investors whose management philosophy differs from his own.
Li Gang, the head of Beast Sports, received seed capital from Innovation Works and said he has benefited greatly from the input from investors.
“Most are experienced entrepreneurs who can give business management tips to us young people,” he said.
“They help in other areas, too, such as with recruitment, manufacturing, finance and legal matters, and introducing potential business partners.
“It’s about more than just money.”
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Young businesspeople talk at a meeting place for budding entrepreneurs and angel investors in Zhongguancun Haidian Science Park in Beijing.