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Chinese entrepreneur parades with peers

Updated: 2012-10-12 12:19
( China Daily)

 Chinese entrepreneur parades with peers

Lin Jinsong (second from left), co-owner and general manager of software company Suryani China, displays the flag of his native country, along with fellow entrepreneurs from Egypt, Slovenia and Morocco, along the route of Monday's Columbus Day parade in New York. Story and Photo by Yu Wei / China Daily New York

Lin Jinsong couldn't have imagined he would one day march in a New York City parade. But there he was on Columbus Day, strutting down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue with entrepreneurs from 29 other countries.

"Holding our native flag to celebrate with the Italian-American community, this is truly once in a lifetime," he said.

Lin is general manager at Suryani China, a privately owned supplier and servicer of e-commerce software. Its chief customer is, as Lin prefers to describe it, a major Seattle-based online retailer.

He traveled to the United States for A New Beginning, an "international visitor leadership program" established after President Barack Obama's April 2010 entrepreneurship summit in Washington.

Now in its third year, the initiative brings one business leader from each of 30 countries to the US for a three-week program of instruction and networking. The Entrepreneurs Organization, a group of 8,000 business owners from 40 countries, implements the program.

"This is the first time we had a delegate from China," said Adrienne Cornelsen, a spokeswoman for the organization.

Members of the diplomatic corps at US embassies around the world nominate delegates who exemplify entrepreneurial leadership and are making significant changes in their countries.

At the start of their visit, program participants met with entrepreneurs, government officials and educators in Washington, Denver, Portland, Dallas and New York. At the State Department, they met with senior US diplomats.

"I'm receiving a global perspective through relationships with American entrepreneurs as well as the perspectives of the other 29 delegates by sharing our experience," Lin said.

He values the peer-to-peer engagement because if fosters communication among all participants, regardless of how big or successful one's business is.

The chief market for Lin's company is the US. Talking with entrepreneurs from other countries, he said, enhanced his understanding of his diverse customer base.

A New Beginning has more than 20 alumni who stay in contact with each other, offering mutual support on running their businesses, according to the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which funds and oversees the program.

Story and Photo by Yu Wei /China Daily