Female Entrepreneurs Blaze a Trail in NE China Province

March 30, 2018
Editor: Li Wenru

For most Chinese people, big cities are their first choice when planning to start a business, but there are exceptions. In northeast China's Jilin Province, numerous outstanding women went back to their hometowns and started their own businesses there.

Through hard work, innovation, courage and insight, they have made their way to prosperity and become the role-model of millions of others.

Gao Yangyang: Small Pancakes Can Make A Big Fortune

Gao Yangyang, also known as the "Pancake Beauty", is a 20-something graduate from Changchun University. After her education, she decided to start a business in her hometown of Shuangyang, a small town in Jilin.

Her decision was opposed by people around her, but she stayed determined anyway, saying, "I did not come back blindly. On the contrary, I decided to make pancakes because it can leverage the advantages of my hometown, and my knowledge on the internet can give me an edge."

After two years of development, the number of her pancake stalls increased from one to six, and she plans to expand that number to at least 30 by the end of this year. Every day, 1,500 servings of pancakes are made by Gao's team, and they still fall short of demand.

"As college graduates, you can realize your life value so long as you have the courage to think and act," Gao said.

Zhang Hemin: Organic Vegetable Planting Paves Way for Success

Zhang Hemin is the biggest organic vegetable planter in Hengdaozi Village of Jilin. In 2017, with the support of the local government, she built an organic vegetable growing base with a dozen greenhouses covering an area of 13 hectares (32 acres). The annual output of the base amounts to 3.6 million yuan (U.S.$ 571,400), and over 200 locals work there.

"I'm a farmer, and fortunately I live in a wonderful era. I have found my way to prosperity, and I would lead my fellow villagers to overcome poverty," boasts Zhang.

She donated 80,000 yuan (U.S.$ 12,700) as startup capital to 40 local farmers to help them get rid of poverty.

Li Yaohui: Pioneer of Eco-tourism

Li Yaohui, 47, has spent all her life in a village of Jilin. However, she is a countrywoman gifted in doing business. In 2014, she opened an eco-tourism estate in her village, providing sightseeing tours, greenhouse culture, dining, lodging, entertainment and other services. Now, her estate has annual earnings of over 3 million yuan (U.S.$ 476,200) and has over 60 employees.

"You are the master of your own fate. With courage, determination and innovation, you can achieve anything," said Li.

Yuan Xiuqin: It's Never Too Late to Learn

The now 53-year-old countrywoman Yuan Xiuqin has worked in the cities since the 1990s. However, after years of hard working, she did not have a lot of savings because she lacked a diploma or much skill.

In 1998, under the guidance of one of her relatives, she started to learn mushroom growing. Then, she built her own greenhouses with the help of local officials. After years of hard toil, she managed to plant over 300 square meters of mushrooms, with an annual output of 6 tons, which brought her over 80,000 yuan (U.S.$ 12,700) of income every year.

"My happy life now is a result of me learning mushroom growing. Although I'm 53, I have never stopped learning," Yuan said. "Keep up with the development of the society, so you would not be left behind."

Wang Qi: Bringing Folks Out of Poverty Is Where My Life Value Lies

In 2015, Wang Qi, after finishing her study in the UK, decided to turn down the job offer from a bank in Beijing and go back to her hometown in Jilin. She became a manager of village-level service station of taobao, China's biggest online shopping website.. Within two months, she has visited dozens of low-income families across her hometown.

In 2017, Wang decided to build a plant for potato starch after doing field research in many other provinces. However, farmers were worried that she might be a fraud and did not want to sign contracts with her.

So, she decided to pay out of her own pocket for seeds and fertilizers. In this way, she gained the trust of farmers, and over 300 low-income families from 22 villages signed contracts with her. Many of them were out of poverty within a year.

"Starting a business in my hometown may not always as fancy as being a white collar worker," Wang said, "but I feel more fulfilled if I can lead my hometown folks to prosperity."

Just like those mentioned above, many women have returned to their hometowns to blaze a trail for success and prosperity. This promising trend should partly be attributed to the guidance of women's federations of all levels in Jilin. With their encouragement and support, many more women would join this trend and inspire others to roll up sleeves and work full steam ahead to have jobs done.

(Source: Xinhua /translated and edited by Women of China)

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