|Shi Yongling sells products via live streaming. [Xinhua/Li Ran]|
Shi, a native of Weichang Manchu and Mongolian Autonomous County (in North China's Hebei Province), moved to Dongjiazhuang (a village in Dawangguzhuang) when she married Zhang Shuquan. That was more than 20 years ago. Many of the villagers consider her an outstanding entrepreneur, who has not only started her own business, but who has also helped many rural women find work near their homes.Shi Yongling, President of Chunrui Vegetables Cooperative (in North China's Tianjin Municipality), is somewhat of a celebrity in Dawangguzhuang, a town in Tianjin's Wuqing District. Why? Given her tremendous efforts to help farmers escape poverty, by helping them increase vegetable and flower production and sales, she was named one of China's Excellent Migrant Workers in December 2020.
In early 2000, Shi and Zhang received financial support, through a small loan, from the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), to help women start their own businesses. Within a short time, the couple set up a greenhouse, to cultivate vegetables. In 2006, they established the cooperative. Throughout the years, the cooperative has grown from dozens of members into a medium-sized rural enterprise, with 159 members.
|Shi Yongling stands outside her greenhouse. [Xinhua/Li Ran]|
In 2013, Shi established Chunshuyuan (Spring Vegetable Garden) (Tianjin) Ecological Farming and Tourism Co., Ltd. In recent years, she has led her employees in developing a multifunctional tourist resort (in the village), at which visitors can catch fish, pick fruits and appreciate and/or grow flowers and plants. As a result, the company has earned a considerable profit from the resort.
Shi has also led her employees in developing a flower-plantation base (in the village), in which they grow various edible flowers. The company's booming business has not only contributed greatly to Dawangguzhuang's economic development, but has also helped to promote the local tourism industry.
As a woman entrepreneur, Shi has felt obliged to do something to help improve rural women's lives. Since she was named deputy director of the Wuqing Association of Women Entrepreneurs, in 2018, Shi has tried her best to help rural women find work near their homes. Her cooperative, which has been named Tianjin women's experimental base for developing agriculture, has provided training to rural women, to help them improve their vegetable- and flower-growing skills.
During the past few years, Shi has devoted much of her efforts to helping rural residents escape poverty. For example, in 2018, she established a website, to help impoverished farmers promote sales of their products. On the eve of the Sixth National Poverty Relief Day (on October 17, 2019), she helped 75 impoverished families increase their incomes by promoting sales of their products.
Shortly after the outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in early 2020, Shi worked tirelessly to help residents prevent and control the disease. So far, she has provided more than 20,000 yuan (US $3,077) to Wuqing's social organizations, and the organizations have used that money to help residents prevent and control COVID-19.
|Shi Yongling (L) and a farmer check the growth of crops in the greenhouse. [Xinhua/Li Ran]|
(Source:Xinhua/Women of China English Monthly August 2021 issue)
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