Published: 11:29, May 21, 2024
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Initiative aids student entrepreneurs
By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou

A national college student micro-entrepreneurship initiative, which has funded dozens of projects over the past 10 years, gave Zhang Xueying's business a major boost, and more young people are expected to take advantage of the program this year.

"When we started the project several years ago, there was only an idea to develop products, without considering how the product would become marketable," said Zhang, then a college student.

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After receiving financial support in 2018, Zhang — co-founder of Shenzhen Starseek Technology Co, which utilizes digital technology to create consumer and urban cultural tourism scene designs — was able to refine her business model and expand it globally.

When we started the project several years ago, there was only an idea to develop products, without considering how the product would become marketable.

Zhang Xueying, co-founder of a company in Shenzhen who received help from the program

Over the years, 470 projects created by college students have received funding since the microentrepreneurship action plan, organized by the KAB Club (China), was launched in 2014.

This year alone, a total of 1.2 million yuan ($166,000) was awarded to 50 student startup projects out of 1,000 submitted by students from 262 universities, according to figures announced at an event on Thursday at South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province.

The event, organized by KAB Club (China), China Youth Daily and GF Securities Social Charity Foundation, was held to publicize the results of the micro-entrepreneurship initiative and promote small student businesses in the fields of scientific and technological innovation, rural vitalization and sustainable development.

Of the projects awarded funding, four are from universities based in Guangdong, an economic powerhouse in South China.

Through activities such as project solicitation, micro-entrepreneurship lectures and project exhibitions, the initiative has helped build a platform for students to connect with venture capital institutions, conduct roadshows and showcase their projects, according to the event's organizers.

The initiative has laid the foundation for the establishment of a college student micro-entrepreneurship ecosystem that encompasses creative incubation, project guidance and investment connections, the organizers said.

The program has achieved significant success in fostering a vibrant culture of innovation and entrepreneurship on campuses, promoting practical entrepreneurship experiences among students and facilitating collaborative innovation between academia and industry, according to Dong Shi, editor-in-chief of China Youth Daily.

"We have also hosted a series of international youth exchange activities, actively promoting China's important achievements in innovation and entrepreneurship to the international community," Dong said.

Zhou Xitai, director of GF Securities Social Charity Foundation, said, "We will continue to leverage capital market resources to create investor matching platforms for student startups."

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According to a report on micro entrepreneurship action projects that was released during the event, most of the projects that received funding were engaged in technological innovation.

"Technological products and services were most notable among all the projects, reflecting the proactive response of college student entrepreneurial teams to the national call for developing new quality productive forces," said Ge Jianxin, a professor from Central University of Finance and Economics.

Additionally, actively promoting comprehensive rural vitalization and developing the agricultural and green economy are also key areas of focus for student innovation and entrepreneurship, according to the report.

qiuquanlin@chinadaily.com.cn