Tak­ing up a ca­reer in ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Business - By HUANG WENSHU in Shang­hai hws97612x­i­ao­niu@163.com

LEARN­ING

Ed­u­ca­tion is the eas­i­est thing to carry around, and it can help you go places — that’s what David B. Allen, CFA, 29, a Shang­hai-based Cana­dian, be­lieves in.

He is the founder of Language Part­ners, hav­ing taken up a ca­reer in ed­u­ca­tion to bridge the world’s cross-cul­tural learn­ers.

In 2014, Allen came to China in pur­suit of his mas­ter’s in fi­nance from the Shang­hai Uni­ver­sity of Fi­nance and Eco­nomics. China’s rapid eco­nomic growth, rich cul­ture and the smart lo­cals of Shang­hai con­vinced Allen to be­come a part of the dy­namic me­trop­o­lis.

“I’m a prob­lem-solver, and have al­ways been en­tre­pre­neur­ial at heart. Dur­ing my first year in China, I spent much time learn­ing Chi­nese, and I quickly learned about the de­mand and need for language tu­tors. This need prom­ises con­tin­ued growth,” Allen said.

In Fe­bru­ary 2016, with sup­port from gov­ern­ment pol­icy, a uni­ver­sity and an in­cu­ba­tor, Allen rode his pas­sion for, and insights into, ed­u­ca­tion to found Language Part­ners in Shang­hai.

The com­pany in­tends to con­nect English and Chi­nese na­tive speak­ers, pro­vid­ing 1-to-1 ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for both sides.

It reg­u­larly holds fun and in­ter­ac­tive English learn­ing events for chil­dren, and also pro­vides or­ga­ni­za­tional train­ing to re­move com­mu­ni­ca­tion bar­ri­ers in of­fices.

In ad­di­tion, it is now de­vel­op­ing its mo­bile app to bet­ter stream­line the process of con­nect­ing Chi­nese and English na­tive speak­ers.

“We con­tinue to grow and learn at a con­trolled and man­aged pace with min­i­mal down­side risk,” said Allen. “I’d like to see Language Part­ners get­ting rec­og­nized for its ‘Liv­ing the Language’ ini­tia­tive, with cus­tomer ser­vice out­look and at­ten­tion to de­tail.”

The gov­ern­ment and the uni­ver­sity play in­dis­pens­able roles in the com­pany’s de­vel­op­ment. The Shang­hai free trade zone pro­vides en­trepreneurs with tax in­cen­tives. And visas are now more sup­port­ive of for­eign­ers start­ing up in China.

Fur­ther­more, the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive con­trib­utes to sound re­la­tions and deeper un­der­stand­ing among coun­tries and peo­ple.

“I think it’s a great ini­tia­tive that should en­cour­age more for­eign stu­dents to stay on in China to start their own busi­nesses,” Allen said.

The SUFE pro­vides its young en­trepreneurs with workspace, con­nec­tions and re­sources. The En­trepreneur­ship Cen­ter brought Allen fund-rais­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and par­tic­i­pa­tion in Guan Sheng Yuan In­ter­na­tional’s in­cu­ba­tor pro­gram.

Be­sides, Allen is eye­ing ex­pan­sion into Canada. He re­cently vis­ited his home­town Fred­er­ic­ton, New Brunswick, to forge co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments with lo­cal English teach­ers and doc­toral can­di­dates. He hoped Cana­di­ans with top-level writ­ing and speak­ing abil­i­ties can meet in­creas­ing de­mand for English-language classes among the Chi­nese.

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