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Bird's-nest entrepreneur aims for high-flying business

By Xu Lin | China Daily | Updated: 2014-11-21 07:59

Bird's-nest entrepreneur aims for high-flying business

Yang Congyun opens her first bird's-nest store in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, with dreams of prosperity. Photo provided to China Daily

Yang Congyun, 27, from Yiwu, Zhejiang province, has big dreams for her bird's-nest business.

"I'm not just promoting edible bird's nests, but also an ultimate lifestyle. I want to make my brand the Starbucks in the nourishing desserts field," she pronounces.

Yang sells the popular Chinese herbal medicine on the social networking site WeChat. The sales volume is more than 300,000 yuan ($49,000) a month. She recently opened a store in Yiwu to sell boiled nests, and she wants to expand her business to the entire country.

"Women want to be smart and free. My current job allows me to achieve both. I'm self-employed and I'm free. I can share my insights on my job and life on WeChat, and I'm intellectual," says Yang, who quit her job as a brand planner at a local company earlier this year to sell bird's nests.

Most commonly prepared as soup, properly harvested bird's nests are said to be rich in nutrients-including high levels of calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium-which are traditionally believed to aid digestion, raise libido, improve the voice, control asthma, improve focus and generally boost the immune system.

Her target customers are those who want to look good and take care of their health. Most customers are in their 20s or 50s, while some with growing purchasing power are in their 30s or 40s.

At the end of October, Yang joined the first Yiwu Internet Startup Roadshow Contest and won third place-and the prize for the project that had the most investment value, out of more than 20 projects.

Her ambition is to raise a fund of 5 million yuan and open a chain of 50 to 100 stores nationwide next year. Four venture-capital firms have shown interest in her project and are in negotiations with her.

"People's living standards are improving. They used to sacrifice their health to make money, but they are starting to know that life is not only about having a career," she says.

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