Business / Industries

Climbing the pecking order to success

By WU YUNHE (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-27 10:21

Peng Yu and his girlfriend Dai Ying are two college graduates with a passion for entrepreneurship.

Last summer, Peng, 23, an animal science major at the Southwest University in Chongqing municipality, turned down the chance to continue his postgraduate studies. His girlfriend Dai, 22, also decided to leave college instead of moving to France to study after graduating from Sichuan International Studies University in July this year.

With the help of their parents and by using their savings, they went to a mountainous rural area in Sichuan province last winter to realize their entrepreneurial dream.

Their starting investment of 500,000 yuan ($80,645) helped them open a 3.3-hectare chicken farm in their hometown in Zhongjiang county.

So far, they have earned more than 500,000 yuan from chicken sales since November when they began to sell their poultry.

"As parents, we certainly have concerns about giving them money to invest in the chicken farm," said Dai Fushu, Dai's father, a factory worker in Sichuan. "But, we are also very willing to help them realize their dreams."

Dai, a French major at SISU, has a romantic streak to her nature and decided to name their business Amour Ecological Farm. The plan is to boost chicken sales to 2 million yuan in 2015 by increasing the number of poultry at the farm from 3,000 to 10,000 by the end of this year.

Peng and Dai are not alone in branching out and turning their backs on postgraduate studies. Many Chinese college students are deciding to start their own businesses after graduation.

On April 16, website quoted a Visa Inc report saying that the average age of China's new rich is 33. According to the report, they had a per capita income of 420,000 yuan annually, making them the youngest group of wealthy people in the Asia-Pacific region.

The rise of these young business people coincides with Premier Li Keqiang's call in March for entrepreneurial innovation at the third session of the 12th National People's Congress. The government has been encouraging China's young people, especially college graduates, to start their own businesses by streamlining approval procedures.

Another key development has been to reduce income tax by half on micro and small enterprises, according to the State Administration of Taxation.

According to the Ministry of Education, 7.49 million university students are expected to graduate this summer in China. This is an increase of 220,000 from 2014.

Education Minister Yuan Guiren has urged universities and colleges in China to help new graduates start innovative businesses or find them jobs in other sectors.

"We should actively encourage the graduates to start their own businesses," Yuan said at a recent national education meeting in Beijing. "Innovation has become the theme of the times, and college students are the most active and creative people for innovation."

During a news conference in April, Sheng Laiyun, National Bureau of Statistics spokesman, painted a positive picture. Although China's economic growth dipped to 7 percent in the first quarter of this year, new economic reforms are cushioning the slowdown.

Known as the "new normal", this more sustainable approach to growth has led to further industrial upgrading and expansion in the service sector.

During the first quarter of this year, 3.2 million people entered the workforce for the first time, a drop of 240,000, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. This was mainly due to the slowing in economic growth, the ministry said.

But entrepreneurial spirit is helping to fill the gap. In its 2015 list of the top 30 entrepreneurs under the age of 30, Forbes China reported that young business people are being encouraged to start up new companies.

Of the 30 young entrepreneurs on the list, 13 are from Beijing while the rest mainly come from Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou. They have developed businesses in gaming, wearable technology devices, Internet services, manufacturing, online finance and software.

The 1990-generation has joined the wave of young entrepreneurs starting businesses in the Zhongguancun area of Beijing, known as "China's Silicon Valley", which is noted for its highly creative environment.

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