Business / Economy

Startups shoot up in rural China, challenges remain

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-08-03 09:31

BEIJING - Startups are shooting up in China's countryside as the government encourages rural entrepreneurship with a spate of favorable policies.

This week, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security publicized employment figures of 500 villages it supervised in 10 provinces. According to the ministry, about 13,000 rural laborers started their own businesses in the first half of 2015, up 3.1 percent year on year.

In some provinces with large numbers of migrant laborers, the number is even higher, according to the ministry, with the southwestern Guizhou province having recorded some 72,000 laborers who became their own bosses in H1, a year-on-year increase of 58 percent.

More rural workers chose to start their own businesses thanks to government policies supporting entrepreneurship, according to Zhang Ying, deputy head of the ministry's department of employment support.

Wang Qiongshi, the head of a laundry facility in his hometown of Haikou, capital of South China's Hainan province, was once a migrant worker struggling in neighboring Guangdong province. Wang said that after starting his own business a few years ago, he now rakes in a monthly revenue of more than 200,000 yuan ($32,220).

Qin Guohong, who worked in Nanning city of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region a few years ago, has launched a pig-selling business in his hometown of Guangxi's Baise city.

"Registration is easier these days, and the government provides financial support," said the young man, who has opened 15 chain stores in Baise.

The State Council, China's cabinet, announced new policies in June to encourage migrant workers, college graduates and discharged soldiers to return to their hometowns and start their own small businesses.

The government has promised easy business registration and will even allow them to participate in rural infrastructure development and public services that are normally reserved for the state.

Experts say the country's startup encouragement is a result of China's new stage of slower but more resilient growth, which relies on services, consumption and innovation.

Rural startups

While countless migrant workers are still struggling to make ends meet in China's cities, many people are returning to their rural hometowns to start their own businesses.

In Guizhou's capital Guiyang, a business incubation park was put into operation in the city's suburbs in April by the Guizhou government.

The "Dream Factory" park, about 1,300 square meters in area, provides free venues, cheap accommodation and startup loans from the provincial government. It has already attracted a dozen entrepreneurs.

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