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Chinese Entrepreneurs: A Community Eager for Products and Services

There’s a new generation of Chinese who are becoming entrepreneurs by choice, instead of necessity.

In a recent article on Alibaba.com, it was reported that at Tsinghua University, the “fastest growing academic program is in innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Calling this new trend “the entrepreneurship of opportunity”, Zhang Wei, professor of entrepreneurship, noted that previous Chinese entrepreneurs “were entrepreneurs out of necessity” who came from meager economic backgrounds. But this is no longer the norm.

Tsinghua is also working with Goldman Sachs and HEC in Paris as part of Goldman Sachs’ “10,000 Women” initiative. Over 450 new women entrepreneurs are expected to graduate from this program over the next five years, and the first one is under way with 50 students.

Seasoned entrepreneurs are in learning mode, too

Now in its fourth year, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business’ CEO and CFO programs continue to attract Chinese entrepreneurs and managers in a wide variety of industries, in the state and private sector.

This year’s courses included:

> China’s Economic Adjustments amid the World Financial Crisis
> The Future of Chinese Capitalism
> Transforming a Start-Up to a Professionally Managed Company

Cheung Kong GSB is China’s first private, non-profit independent business school, offering MBA, EMBA and Executive Education programs.

Entrepreneurs have their day in China

Since 1994, entrepreneurs in China have been recognized annually by “National Entrepreneurs Day. “ This year’s conference was recently held in Kunming, Yunnan province from May 17-18.

Featured entrepreneur forums:

> Trend analysis
> Industry revitalization and opportunities for the west
> Win-win situation for employers and employees in crisis and corporate social responsibility

Getting to know Chinese entrepreneurs

To find out what matters to entrepreneurs in China, you might want to check out NextStepShanghai.com, a networking hub for entrepreneurs in China.

NextStep has attracted thousands of members since its founding in March of 2007:

“NextStep provides a forum for like-minded entrepreneurs to collaborate in building new businesses and also helping one another navigate the many pitfalls of conducting business in China. As entrepreneurs, we all understand the importance of a strong support network in pursuing our successes.”

NextStep’s entrepreneurial “support system” features monthly business forums, as well as a monthly social networking event.

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well

Like entrepreneurs the world over, small business owners in China are eager for tools and knowledge to help them grow and reach their goals.  If you are considering marketing to Chinese businesses, you may want to think about products and services tailored to the needs of this lively business community.

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