Mi­grant work­ers re­turn home to thrive in cre­ative new busi­ness en­ter­prises

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By XIN­HUA in Zhengzhou

For decades, China’s ru­ral res­i­dents have rushed to big cities to in­crease their earn­ings, but to­day, more are avoid­ing travel and home­sick­ness to make money at home.

The cen­tral gov­ern­ment re­leased a set of guide­lines last week to en­cour­age ru­ral res­i­dents to pur­sue en­trepreneur­ship and in­no­va­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to a State Coun­cil doc­u­ment, the gov­ern­ment will roll out poli­cies to en­cour­age mi­grant work­ers to start busi­nesses in ru­ral ar­eas to help eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment there.

In­side a four-story build­ing in im­pov­er­ished Xinx­ian county in He­nan prov­ince, at least 100 women were work­ing to as­sem­ble elec­tronic prod­ucts.

The fac­tory, set up by 46-year-old Tu Guangy­ong, em­ploys more than 300 “left be­hind” women, whose hus­bands have gone to find work mil­lion in cities, to care for chil­dren and el­derly at home.

In 1991, Tu started work­ing as a jan­i­tor at a fac­tory in Guang­dong prov­ince, known as the “world's fac­tory”, but he was soon pro­moted to a mana- gerial po­si­tion.

He re­signed and re­turned home in 2010, tak­ing with him the man­age­ment and mar­ket­ing skills he had learned.

“It was get­ting more dif­fi­cult and ex­pen­sive to hire work­ers in Guang­dong. Women in my home­town could pro­vide pre­cious la­bor re­sources,” Tu said. “It was time for me to go back home and start a fac­tory.”

Tu opened three fac­to­ries near schools. Work­ers can choose to work be­tween four and eight hours per day, mak­ing sure they have enough time for their chil­dren who are study­ing next door.

Thanks to low costs and high qual­ity, Tu’s prod­ucts have been well re­ceived at home and abroad.

Tu is just one of the 2 mil­lion mi­grant work­ers who have re­turned home to be­come self­em­ployed in new busi­nesses, in­clud­ing large-scale farm­ing, farm pro­duce pro­cess­ing, ru­ral tourism and pro­ducer and con­sumer ser­vices.

Re­turned mi­grant work­ers are ex­pected to in­ject new en­ergy into the ru­ral econ­omy by in­tro­duc­ing mod­ern tech­nol­ogy, sys­tems and man­age­ment skills.

Still, many chal­lenges need to be over­come in or­der for mi­grant work­ers to re­turn home, stay and thrive.

“Costs and risks may soar, con­sid­er­ing the un­der­de­vel­oped in­fra­struc­ture, and the lack of sup­port­ing poli­cies and ca­pa­ble em­ploy­ees in ru­ral ar­eas,” said Cui Chuanyi, a re­searcher at the De­vel­op­ment Re­search Cen­ter of the State Coun­cil.

Cui said the newly re­leased guide­lines em­pha­size equal­ity and support by rolling out mea­sures such as eas­ing mar­ket ac­cess, im­prov­ing ru­ral fi­nan­cial ser­vices, in­creas­ing fis­cal support, pro­vid­ing train­ing in en­trepreneur­ship and in­no­va­tion and per­fect­ing the so­cial safety net.

Num­ber of mi­grant work­ers who have re­turned home to be­come self-em­ployed in new busi­nesses

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.