Beauty of the campus brain
Patting gently the foundation, drawing carefully the eye-liner and rouging cautiously the lips, Wai Wai Oo, 23, founder of a campusbased one-stop makeup platform, applies cosmetics to a group of actors at a graduation ceremony.
Seeing them perform on the stage with glimmering makeup, Wai said she treasures this kind of moments.
Wai Wai Oo, a student from Myanmar, established China’s first campus-based e-commerce platform Qing Chun Hui, to provide university students with a one-stop makeup-related services, including at-home (or at-dormitory/at-hostel room) makeup, costume-renting and makeup training.
The startup is based in Tsinghua University. It has now provided services to over 10,000 university students in Beijing in the past two years with sales revenue reaching 3 million yuan ($450,000) in the last 10 months.
“I’ve never imagined that I could start a business in China. The platform is now developing beyond my expectation,” Wai said.
For Wai, the business idea popped up in her mind after a bad experience.
She once agreed to compere an important event, and was required to dress up and appear with professional makeup and hairdo.
Not finding a makeup room in the university, she had to spend nearly 500 yuan, or one-fourth of her monthly living expenses, to invite someone outside of the campus to her dormitory to apply makeup.
“This awful experience inspired me. I thought, ‘Why not establishing a door-to- door makeup platform on the campus?’”
After in-depth research and preparation, she started her business in 2015.
“Actually, things are not easy, especially for me as a foreigner,” she said. “Lack of money and experience are two main challenges.”
She was “lucky” to have received support from Chuang Plus, an incubator of Tsinghua University to encourage students to start their own businesses.
Chuang Plus has incubated over 380 startups with a total seed money of several billion dollars. Over 40 business proposals received investments from angels.
The platform helped Wai to accumulate experience and obtain investments.
Official data showed there were over 440,000 foreign students in China in 2016. China has a series of policies to encourage such students to start businesses.
“China’s stable business environment and policies are a big help,” Wai said.
Her firm’s services now cover 18 top universities in Beijing. “In the future, I’ll continue my business in China and hope to cover all Chinese universities.”
Wai Wai Oo (left), a student from Myanmar and founder of Qing Chun Hui in Tsinghua University, applies makeup on a customer in Beijing.