NEWS AND INSIGHT
With the strong support of the country, ‘Internet+’ is regarded as one of the most popular keywords in the internet search engine. In this era, internet is applicable not only in a single industry, but is gradually immersing into other industries. As quoted from our Prime Minister’s saying ‘mass entrepreneurship and innovation’, it is questionable whether an unprecedented entrepreneurship wave has emerged due to the promotion of the ‘Internet+’ project.
Favorable Conditions Combined with Entrepreneurial Spirit Results in the Wave of Entrepreneurship
Many mainland teenagers dream of starting a business, this is, to a certain extent, influenced by some post-90s’ successful start-up businesses. Nevertheless, young people are like a piece of white sheet, they lack capital, experience and market information, but business capital requires not less than a billion. It is, however generally believed that starting up a business is so simple that entrepreneurs become rich overnight. According to a research, more than half of the ‘post-90s’ university students have more incentive to work because they hope to get rich quickly.
Mobile internet gradually changes the way we live and think. For instance, it is not necessary for consumers to buy clothes in stores or through face-to-face communication with sales. We can now place our orders through the internet and the courier company will send the products to us directly. Also, regardless of whether you are free at home or busy at work, you do not need to worry being unable to reach for food. Now, you can place your food order online. Every demand can be satisfied easily via the internet. No one could imagine electronic purse and virtual social contact ever exist, and a movie heroine being rewarded because of her voice. However, all of them become reality today.
The advantage of ‘Internet+’ is not only limited to the above, but there are more to be noted. In the past, starting up a business requires both courage and huge amount of capital. First of all, the registration fee, the commercial license etc. Later, capital is required in renting offices or factories, building a team for work and setting up equipment. But now, business start-ups become more convenient. We have Cloud Office for us to prepare for documents, Powerpoint, etc. We can have our office anywhere, we can also organize a virtual team for collaborative work. Furthermore, in the support of reform, creative parks are being set up all over the world. In the capital market, the Growth Enterprise Board (GEM) and the National Equities Exchange and Quotations (NEEQ) boosted the outlook of start-ups to a further new height.
The Successful Case of Kuaidi ONE
I have attended the forum organized by Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce in China (HKCCC), and listened to a brilliant presentation delivered by the CEO of Kuaidi ONE. Both Kuaidi ONE and Kuaidi Taxi belong to the Kuaidi Group. The latter business was developed since they discovered the issue that consumers could not hail a taxi, while taxi drivers could not find any passenger. As a result, mobile internet was utilized to solve this problem. Until today, Kuaidi Taxi covers more than 300 cities in the country, and serves more than a million daily orders. Hence, Kuaidi Taxi has already become a prominent commercial vehicle brand among middle and high-end users. Therefore, it is a very successful business set-up example.
The Road to Entrepreneurship of Three Hong Kong Doctoral Students
Recently, I joined a roadshow entrepreneur forum and met three ambitious teenagers. They pursue undergraduate studies in the University of Hong Kong and wish to devote to the society after graduation. With this aim, they formed a team and investigated on how to employ the latest nanotechnology on the treatment of osteoarthritis. Due to the high cost of scientific research and clinical trial, they need to seek sponsors and investors for capital. Fortunately, they obtained assistance from the Hong Kong government and some private funds, but the financing gap still remains large. From the investor’s perspective, they expect to gain short-term benefits instead of long-term returns. This explains the difficulty of the students to seek for financial support. Despite the challenge, they thought of applying nanotechnology on horses, so as to enhance its strength and health. They later submitted their proposal to the Hong Kong Jockey Club, and they are now negotiating with the organization. I see the passion, collaboration, creativity, perseverance and social corporate responsibility from this team, and I really wish their success in the near future. I believe the society as a whole can benefit from their project, especially the Chinese elderly suffering from osteoarthritis; they may not need to rely on surgery for treatment anymore.
‘Entrepreneurship’—A Dream Not Only for Teenagers
Although it is well known that business set-up is a common topic among teenagers, it does not imply that entrepreneurship is restricted to teenagers only. I have two friends from Shanghai who served as professional managers in a multinational advertising company for more than ten years, but recently desired to start up a business. Throughout their career path, they accumulated social network, experience and understanding towards business operations in different companies. Consequently, they determined to set up a data-based marketing company, applying internet, Cloud and big data technology to effectively promote products and services to customers. Indeed, my market research company has been working closely with their firm in order to provide value added services for our clients.
Universal Entrepreneurship — For Better or Worse?
Undoubtedly, we have entered into a new age where everyone desires to be their own boss. Until the first half of 2014, more than 9,000 technology companies have been established in Zhong Guan Cun, with an average of 49 firms per day, 1.5 times the number of 6,000 companies in 2013. Viewing from the positive aspect, it is no deny that new enterprises provide more employment opportunities, an egress for capital and extra choices for consumers. Regardless of these benefits, risks hide behind the prosperity.
According to the current situation, many teenagers blindly follow the wave of entrepreneurship. They want to enter the mobile app development market after recognizing that mobile app is becoming increasingly popular. Similarly, they also desire to create platforms comparable to the WeChat communication system. They never think about if the career suits themselves, and refuse to enter any enterprise to acquire working experience. Concurrently, many middle level and senior managers leave and set up their businesses, hence professional managers are inadequate in some enterprises. Given that young people are reluctant to work as employees, it hinders the development of various enterprises.
Additionally, the homogeneity among new companies is a serious issue. When entrepreneurs flock the market, a death in the industry is common. After the success of Groupon, 6,000 group buying websites in China emerged, leading to an intense competition with a 3.5% survival rate only.
Is Setting Up Business Similar to First Love?
One night, I was dining with the three doctoral students and friends in a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai. After drinking a few cups of wine, we started to discuss the feeling of first love: it’s beautiful, sweet and romantic, with endless fantasy. However, only a few couples can finally enter the palace of marriage, hand in hand. Setting up a business is a narrow escape, similar to the experience of first love. People who have successfully built a new company must understand the management and operations of business, and be able to maintain the feeling of freshness and passion, as well as capable of summing up past experience to solve current problems. All of these characteristics correspond to the situation of first lovers engaging in marriage in the end. All of us are reluctant to leave. All we brought home are the lovely memories of first love, and the passion towards business.