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Lack of experience, connections hamper startups

By Zhao Xinying | China Daily | Updated: 2015-06-30 07:51

Starting a business is not easy for anyone, but it's especially difficult for female entrepreneurs.

A recent report released by the China Development Research Foundation found that a lack of experience and connections are two major difficulties female entrepreneurs face in the country.

Jin Di, who set up an online psychological health consulting platform, has a keen understanding of how a lack of experience has hindered her business.

In the beginning, the 39-year-old wanted to develop a mobile app through which people could get psychological health consulting. But her lack of knowledge and digital experience prevented the idea from blossoming.

"It took a lot of detours and bothered me for a long time until we recruited excellent staff members who had experience developing mobile apps," she said.

Liu Sisi, founder of, an online intellectual property rights service provider, went through a similar process transferring legal services online.

"As we were creating a brand-new way of providing legal services, there was no example for us to follow, and we had to fumble by ourselves," Liu recalled. "We made several mistakes in doing this, and the only way to move forward at that time was to try again and again."

What's worse, the absence of social connections and contacts added to the startup challenges. After putting their legal products online, Liu and her team encountered problems in promotion and persuading people to buy.

"Our efforts to do that ended in vain because we didn't have any connections that could help us," the 33-year-old said. "I remembered that we tried to contact and talk with entrepreneurship incubators, but received no response. I believe it's a difficulty facing almost all the grassroots entrepreneurs in the beginning."

Luckily, Liu and her team finally achieved breakthroughs, relying on themselves instead of others. "But it really took us a great deal of time and energy to make our products accepted and widely known," she said.

Jin, the psychology consultant, said female entrepreneurs are usually more sensitive to startup pressures, but thanks to her educational background, she and her team members could console each other when things were not going well.

"Still, there were pressures that were hard to handle at times," she said. "Women who start their own businesses should have a strong heart."

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