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Women entrepreneurs play big role in China's economy: official

(Xinhua)

15:36, September 17, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Women entrepreneurs are playing a big role in China's economy and the country is making new efforts to foster women entrepreneurship, a leader of China's biggest women's organization said here on Friday.

Meng Xiaosi, vice president of All-China Women's Federation, made the remarks at a major Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference focusing on finding ways to increase women's economic participation in the region.

"Since 1990s, economic development and technological advancement in China have given rise to a strong momentum of women entrepreneurship," she said at a policy discussion luncheon, which was part of the APEC Women and the Economy Summit.

China now has over 29 million female entrepreneurs, about 25 percent of the national total, among whom 41 percent are self-employed and private business owners, Meng said, adding that many Chinese women entrepreneurs are engaged in high-tech industries and pay great attention to upgrading and renovating traditional industries with new technologies.

She also briefed the delegates about efforts made by All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) to explore into new practices, including setting up platforms for employment services, providing policy information, resource support and business incubation to help women start their own businesses and find jobs.

Meng on Friday also attended a high-level policy dialogue chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and shared with the participating APEC ministerial officials about several successful projects in China on how to improve women's access to capitals and markets.

For instance, pushed by the ACWF, the Chinese government launched a policy on micro credit for women with interests fully covered by government financial departments in 2009.

So far, the project has directly helped over 900,000 women to start up their own businesses and created job opportunities for about 4 million women, greatly improving the well-being of their families, Meng said.

The four-day APEC Women and the Economy Summit, the first-ever such meeting held by the premier economic organization in the region, concluded on Friday with the adoption of a joint declaration, calling for concrete actions to maximize women's contributions towards economic growth in the region.

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