Business / Technology

Cafe doesn't just deal with small potatoes

By XU JINGXI (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-27 09:33

"Internet Plus is more than opening an online mall," he said. "Its core is to help traditional enterprises build closer connections with customers and employees online and then offline. Crowd funding can help that bonding."

Zhang Aiming, general manger of Guangzhou Yixianhui Food Tech Co, hopes to work with Liu on business-to-customer deals. Zhang runs a Guangzhou-based business-to-business fruit company and catering service with an annual turnover of more than 30 million yuan.

"I want to try out the B2C business on college campus first and Liu's idea of equity crowd funding is new and interesting to me," said Zhang. "It can help me quickly build up my brand on campus with the student shareholders promoting the brand by word of mouth. I may also save on labor costs if they join my delivery team."

"But, I have doubts that Liu's idea can still be that effective in marketing if applied to businesses off campus. The social network outside campus is more complicated," he said.

Zhang met Liu at an e-commerce seminar at one of the BEPOTATO cafes. He was impressed by the college student's commercial savvy.

"I didn't have such strong creativity and business sense as he has when I was at his age," said Zhang, 40, who started selling fruit from a street stall 20 years ago.

China is embracing entrepreneurship and innovation, which Premier Li Keqiang has called one of the "twin engines" for the country's economic growth. Young people, who were born after 1990 and are referred to as the post-1990 generation, have become a force for innovation under new government plans.

"The post-1990 generation want to start businesses from scratch and help fundamentally change industries. The older generation may start a business mainly to make money," Liu said.

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