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Students seek success via startups

Su Zhou/Li Hongyang
Updated: Dec 29,2016 9:43 AM     China Daily

Students display robots that can play soccer during an entrepreneurial exhibition on Wednesday at Southeast University in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province.[Photo/China Daily]

It would appear that Chinese at universities and colleges are not daunted by the high failure rate of students starting their own businesses.

A survey released by Renmin University of China on Dec 28 showed that more than 120,000 college students are running their own business or have had a related experience, accounting for 28 percent of respondents.

Only 10.2 percent said they don’t want to start their own business.

The report is based on information collected from more than 430,000 students at 1,767 universities and colleges across the country.

In addition to enthusiasm, the report found that chasing dreams and freedom are two main drivers for college students seeking to become entrepreneurs. More than 37 percent of respondents said they want to control their own life and work pace, while more than 20 percent said they want to fulfill their dreams.

Wang Chunsheng, 28, is a graduate student at Tsinghai University. He tried to start a business twice while at college. His first attempt involved a mobile fitness app. His second attempt involved a subscription fitness blog on WeChat, which generates profit of 1 million yuan ($143,760) per year.

“I really don’t want to work long hours in an office like normal white-collar workers,” Wang said.

Zhang Jingxiu, executive director of Beijing-based employment consultancy Newjincin Research Institute, said many positive policies have helped motivate college students, such as a flexible education system that allows students to start a business while putting their education on hold.

“What’s more important is the change in social opinions on startups. College students and their parents are viewing startups as an opportunity, not a risk,” Zhang said.

Zhang Rui, chairman of Wanxue Education Group, said there is no such thing as failure when talking about startups.

“You cannot judge entrepreneurs on their first trial. No businessmen becomes successful at their first attempt,” he said.

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