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More job training urged for graduates

By Jin Zhu (China Daily)

08:52, May 30, 2013

Education and recruitment experts are calling on China to boost entrepreneurship training on college campuses to help students get ahead in the tough job market.

Without any guidance from older entrepreneurs, only a few students succeed in starting a business as soon as they graduate, said Du Kui, executive president of Youth Business China, a nonprofit program that aims to promote entrepreneurship among young people.

He estimates the success rate is about 1 percent, based on his eight years of voluntary service as a mentor for the program.

A survey by MyCOS Research Institute, a Beijing higher education consultancy, found about 2 percent of China's graduates in 2012 started businesses, up from 1 percent in 2008.

The rise was partly driven by higher income expectations and the competitive job market, the report found.

The MyCOS study also found that about 70 percent of graduate ventures fail within three years.

"We don't encourage college students to start a business in the first year after they graduate, because there are too many painful examples," Du said. "Compared with the United States and Europe, most young people in China have limited internship experience and basically have no idea of running a company or a workforce."

Du's organization is a member of the UK-based Youth Business International Network, which operates in 38 countries and regions, helping young people who want to start a business but who lack the means.

Established in 2003, Youth Business China works with the same aim, providing funds to would-be entrepreneurs.

The program offers 30,000 to 50,000 yuan (about $4,890 to $8,150) as seed money to people aged 18 to 35 with a viable business plan and a passion for entrepreneurship. By the end of last year, 97 percent of the 800 or so businesses launched by young people with help from the YBC program had operated for more than three years.

Zhang Huiling, YBC's executive director, said: "The program regards operating a company for three years as a sign of success and will ask for the seed money to be paid back within that period. This money will later support other people.

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