Business / Industries

Young Chinese talent put in incubator in UK

By Cecily Liu (China Daily) Updated: 2015-02-16 10:22

China's rapidly growing economy has given rise to a large contingent of young talent keen on becoming entrepreneurs, many of whom have found a market or the right support to realize their dreams in the United Kingdom.

Many of these young Chinese have blazed their own path in the UK not only because of the country's open business environment and entrepreneurial spirit, but also through the support of a number of government-led and private-sector programs.

The Sirius program is one example of the UK's helping hand. Initiated by UK Trade & Investment, a government agency that works with businesses based in the country to help them expand to international markets, it gives young entrepreneurs a wide range of support, including mentoring, office space provisions and access to networking opportunities as well as working visas in the UK.

Marian Sudbury, director of global operations and investment at UKTI, says the Sirius program was launched to encourage overseas graduates to continue to contribute to the UK's creative and business environments after graduation.

"It's mainly targeted at overseas graduates. We recognize that young people are a great contributor to tomorrow's businesses, and the best way is to have a mixture of domestic and overseas businesses," Sudbury says.

She says the UK has an entrepreneurial culture because of its diverse ethnic population. In addition, the government has various incentives to encourage entrepreneurship, such as tax breaks for angel investors.

According to research published by the Centre for Entrepreneurs in March 2014, about 500,000 people from 150 countries had launched businesses in the UK, generating 14 percent of total jobs in the nation.

The Sirius program also helps the UK retain talented students after they graduate from its universities, Sudbury says.

"We do know there are a lot of foreign entrepreneurs coming to the UK. We are targeting those with specific talents and skills, who can create idea-driven enterprises in the UK."

The program, which began in 2012, was created after the aggregation of advice from various government representatives, academics, entrepreneurs and schools to make sure the program was efficient and would give participants the support they need.

Sudbury says Chinese students on the Sirius program are intelligent, well-educated, diligent and adaptable to working with people from different countries, though she adds that challenges include the ability to work together as a team.

"They are model participants in our program."

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