Taking up a career in education sector
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.