Entrepreneur Zhao Xianzhen: From Veg Vendor to Restaurant Manager

 July 28, 2020
Entrepreneur Zhao Xianzhen: From Veg Vendor to Restaurant Manager
Zhao Xianzhen gives a speech at the symposium. [CCTV News]


Zhao Xianzhen, Executive Member of the Women's Federation of Jiading District in Shanghai and General Manager of the district's Pinhai Restaurant, came into the spotlight after speaking at a symposium for entrepreneurs chaired by General Secretary Xi Jinping in Beijing on July 21. 

Xi urged efforts to spur the vitality of market entities and promote entrepreneurship at the symposium.  

Zhao, as the only female speaker at the symposium, is also secretary of the general Party branch of the Itinerant Party Member School in Nanxiang Town of Jiading and part-time president of the women's federation of the school, underlined the role of livestreaming in her speech.

With the impact of the epidemic, all walks of life have attempted to promote their products through live broadcasts and expand their sales via online platforms, she noted, adding that the Pinhai Restaurant introduced its specialty dishes through live broadcasts during the closure of business to keep its brand polished.

Zhao also promoted public spoons and chopsticks via livestreaming and put the hygienic measures in place in her restaurant, to allay customers' safety fears.

"I was very excited to be provided with the opportunity to have a face-to-face communication with General Secretary Xi Jinping. We on behalf of more than 82 million individual businesses nationwide share the difficulties we have encountered and how we overcame them. I was greatly encouraged by General Secretary Xi's remarks at the symposium," Zhao said.

Entrepreneur Zhao Xianzhen: From Veg Vendor to Restaurant Manager
Zhao Xianzhen learns about the business situation from an elderly self-employed businesswoman. [Shanghai Observer]


Zhao, born in 1959, grew up together with the strides of China's reform and opening-up. She started her business as a vegetable vendor, and became a self-employed businesswoman in her 20s.

When she just started her business, Zhao rode her old bicycle with two baskets full of vegetables from Jiading early in the morning to urban areas for selling every day. In 1994, she opened a delicatessen in Nanxiang and stepped on her self-employed career path. Later she pooled her money to open a restaurant.

Zhao devoted herself to running the restaurant and attracted a large number of regular customers due to the tasty food and reasonable prices. Given her continuous efforts, she overcame the difficulties and obstacles on the start-up road, and finally owned her booming business.

"Happiness will never befall us by itself. I firmly believe that happiness can only be created with our own hands. And when you live a good life, you should not forget to give back to society," Zhao said.

The Women's Federation of Itinerant Party Member School in Nanxiang is the first women's federation of itinerant school in Shanghai. It serves female participants of associations of self-employed businesses and associations of private enterprises and women of mobile Party branches.

After the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Zhao took the lead in donating money and she donated 20,000 yuan (US $2,858) as special Party membership dues. She also raised money to purchase medical supplies such as ventilators worth nearly 300,000 yuan (US $42,870) for Central China's Hubei Province.

Led by Zhao, 173 volunteers were organized to reinforce the on-duty work of traffic checkpoints and community-based epidemic prevention and control, and donated more than 2,000 packages of dim sum and over 60 boxes of vegetables to hospitals, communities and volunteers.

Entrepreneur Zhao Xianzhen: From Veg Vendor to Restaurant Manager
Zhao Xianzhen distributes fruit and snacks to the elderly at a women club. [Shanghai Observer]


Zhao has been granted honorary titles of "National Advanced Self-Employed People," "National Star of Filial Piety," "National Rural Female Talent" and "Shanghai March 8th Red-banner Holder" over the past years. Her family was also honored as the "National Most Beautiful Family" in 2019. During the epidemic period, she mobilized her family members to take active parts in epidemic prevention and control, contributing to the nationwide fight against the virus.

"Every member of my family should stick to his or her post and take actions to help the anti-epidemic work," Zhao explained.

"I will continue to do my business well. And at the same time, I will work with individual businesses, Party members and other women to strive for success in the new era," she added.

Entrepreneur Zhao Xianzhen: From Veg Vendor to Restaurant Manager
Zhao Xianzhen (2nd, R) and her family members  [For Women of China]


(Source: Shanghai Observer and CCTV/Translated and edited by Women of China)


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