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Micro credit fuels dreams in rural China

By Jiao Meng (

14:39, May 03, 2012

Zhang Guiyun (left) shows one of her sample clothes to credit clerk Yang Cui in Guomao Garment Wholesale Market in downtown Harbin, capital city of China's northeast Heilongjiang Province on April 24, 2012. [Photo by Jiao Meng]

Zhang Guiyun, 53, was once a common housewife in rural Yanglin County on the outskirts of Harbin, Heilongjiang Province. In 2000, she moved into the city to chase after her dream of starting her own garment shop.

Zhang applied for and received a patent in 2005 for a feather coat that allows separation of the feathers and the coat exterior for easy cleaning. She established a factory to produce these coats, especially for middle aged women.

"I never worry about the sales, since winter in Northeast China is so cold," she said.

She dreamed about expanding her shop and factory, but her limited cash flow does not leave her room to grow.

A local women's federation came to her aid. Zhang was informed that she qualified for government-subsidized micro credits for the development of women in small businesses.

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