Helping Women Start Businesses

  • April 4, 2014
  • By Ma Nina
  • Editor: Frank Zhao
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Helping Women Start Businesses
Since 2011, when Yinchuan began issuing small loans (under a program) to help rural women start businesses, the city has issued 635 million yuan (US $104 million) in small loans. [Provided by Yinchuan Women's Federation]

Since 2011, when Yinchuan began issuing small loans (under a program) to help rural women start businesses, the city has issued 635 million yuan (US $104 million) in small loans to 9,977 women. As a result, jobs were created for nearly 30,000 rural residents.

Tang Ya'nan is a good example of how local women have benefited from the program. In 2006, two years after she graduated from the School of Economics and Management of Ningxia University, she raised 30,000 yuan (US $4,918) to establish Yinchuan Yibaisheng Muslim Foods Co., Ltd. During the first few years, the small "workshop" processed mutton rolls for hot pot restaurants.

In 2010, Tang rented a new workshop. She decided to develop her company into Northwest China's largest production base of pharmaceutical and healthcare products that met GMP (good manufacturing practice) standards. However, she had a hard time raising the money to carry out her plan. Then, Yinchuan Women's Federation provided her with a small loan of 500,000 yuan (US $81,967).

As a result of Tang's efforts, and those of her 60 employees, the small workshop has evolved into one of Yinchuan's leading enterprises of agricultural industrialization, and one of Ningxia's star enterprises established by an individual. The company's annual output almost reaches 10 million yuan (US $1.64 million).

Many rural women (including university graduates and women who developed aquaculture businesses and/or vegetable cultivation, or provided business services to residents) have started businesses after they have received small loans of 30,000 yuan (US $4,918)-50,000 yuan (US $81,97) from local banks.

The women's successes should be attributed, in part, to the federations' cooperation with various organizations, including financial institutions and administrative departments for employment, to promote the small-loan policy. Also, the federations have organized more than 1,700 government officials, and more than 650 professionals, to offer two-to-one assistance to 2,200 women, all of whom applied for a small loan.

The women have not only realized their dreams of getting rich through hard work, they have also employed (combined) nearly 50,000 residents. As a result, they have promoted the development of the region's agricultural industry.

As the Chinese saying goes, "It's better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish." Cadres of Yinchuan Women's Federation have understood full well that although they can help women receive small loans from banks, the development of the enterprises started by the women actually hinges on the women's professional skills. Therefore, the federation has put a lot of effort into offering training to improve urban and rural women's professional skills.

Last year, the federation organized and participated in 11 activities aimed at recruiting women employees, and the federation helped about 1,000 women find jobs. The organization also offered professional training courses to more than 3,000 women, and helped 800 women improve their skills of starting their own business. To help women improve their ability to get rich, by applying scientific and technological skills in production, the federation provided more than 100 courses to more than 5,000 women (including women in ecological resettlement areas, poultry breeders, and women who established economic-cooperative organizations). In addition, the federation provided counseling to help nearly 1,000 women laborers protect their legal rights and interests.

Yinchuan Women's Federation has also cooperated with Yinchuan Immigration Office to offer training courses (in managing enterprises and making crafts) to women in ecological resettlement areas. The organizations have promoted folk handicrafts, such as Hui people's paper-cuts and embroidered works, and in developing the handiworks into tourist products with distinctive local features.

(Provided by Yinchuan Women's Federation)

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