Students cautious about campus entrepreneurship
Updated: 2015-05-19 14:39
Premier Li Keqiang shares a light moment with entrepreneurs at a 3W Cafe in Zhongguancun Science Park in Beijing on May 7. His visit to Zhongguancun seen as a gesture of government's support for startup businesses [Photo/China Daily]
BEIJING - The difficulty authorities face in encouraging entrepreneurship in universities has been illustrated by students' caution in starting businesses, with many complaining of excessive bureaucracy and lack of access to financing.
As part of a campaign to encourage entrepreneurship among young people, the State Council said last week that universities will design both compulsory and optional curricula to teach students about start-ups and also offer such training as open-source online courses.
However, many are skeptical about business opportunities for students.
Xie Xionghang, a software major at Shenyang's Northeastern University, said he had to abandon his campus delivery service because of the length of time it would have taken to register the business with industrial and commercial authorities.
Other students said they had been unable to secure small loans from banks as there are few qualified loan guarantors on campus.
Wu Jiang, of the Chinese Academy of Personnel Science, said the cost of starting a business in China is too high, accounting for 4.5 percent of the first year's revenue. In developed countries, the figure is 1 percent.
Most students think the chances of achieving success with a campus start-up are too slim, according to a Tuesday report by China Youth Daily.
Citing a graduate surnamed Wang from Shanghai Normal University, who ran an advertising agency during his sophomore year but closed the business after graduation, the report said landing a job after graduation is much easier than starting a business.
"While on campus, we enjoyed favorable treatment provided by the university. But after graduation, we found it difficult to expand the business since there were not many resources," said Wang.
Another graduate surnamed Wu chose to resume study after a gap year because he "found it takes more than optimism and a business plan to start a business".
Though the education ministry has allowed students to suspend their schooling to start their own businesses, experts say the policy is meaningless without support measures.
Liu Zhu, a careers guidance official from Liaoning, said universities need to invite successful entrepreneurs as guest speakers to encourage students into starting businesses of their own.
According to a survey by Youth Business China, a foundation that provides training and investments to entrepreneurs, only one in ten young entrepreneurs succeed.