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Young business starters in Tibet get policy push

China Daily | Updated: 2020-01-15 09:05

Tsering Palmo practices Tibet's native Shangshung yoga at her studio in Lhasa, Tibet autonomous region in December, 2019. [Photo by Li Lei/China Daily]

LHASA - Chagxi Dawa started his winery business from scratch and achieved business success within only a few years.

The young entrepreneur from the Tibet autonomous region attributed his success to the local policies that encourage young people to start businesses.

After graduating from the wine college of Yunnan Agricultural University in 2014, Chagxi planned to be involved with ice wines in his hometown. However, there was no winery in the region at that time.

"Few people knew about ice wines, so there was no market," Chagxi said.

It was not easy to start the business at the beginning. Chagxi's business got better after he took part in a youth innovation and entrepreneurship competition in 2017.

In a bid to support youth entrepreneurship, the regional government set up a 2 billion yuan ($287 million) fund that year to boost youth employment, hold youth entrepreneurship competitions and establish innovation and entrepreneurship service centers.

In the competition, Chagxi placed first and was awarded a 500,000-yuan venture fund. His ice red wine also became more well-known through the competition.

"Thanks to the fund, my winery is able to function well, and we now produce more wine varieties," Chagxi said, noting that the annual yield of wine has grown from 30 metric tons to over 100 tons, and the beverage was sold both in China and abroad.

The entrepreneurship competition also changed Qamba Chinlai's life. Qamba, then a kindergarten teacher, was working part-time as product designer in a cultural education company that sells toys.

In 2017, the company's annual sales were less than 100,000 yuan, making it barely viable. He was then invited to participate in the entrepreneurship competition and came in third, but won an award for the most popular company on the internet.

Qamba's company later received a 400,000-yuan grant from the local government to help him continue the research and product development.

Thanks to the support, their products were purchased by local kindergartens, and company sales soared to over 3 million yuan in 2019.

"We learned a lot of advanced management ideas from the competition. Meanwhile, our products were widely recognized via the event," Qamba said.

He said what made him decide to suspend his teaching job and focus on the work in the company was an entrepreneur-friendly policy, issued in 2018, which ensures entrepreneurs can go back to their original jobs in case their businesses fail within three years.

Tibet has striven to boost employment and entrepreneurship among young people in recent years. For this purpose, a series of policies have been rolled out to attract college and university graduates to start businesses in the region.

In September, the region issued a development plan to further support innovation and entrepreneurship among young Tibetan people aged 14 to 35. Since then, 12 such projects have been launched.


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