Incentives offered to encourage women to start businesses

PHOTO: Incentives offered to encourage women to start businesses

The All-China Women's Federation is giving incentives to young women in the technology area to encourage them to start their own businesses.

After an event called Women Graduates Entrepreneur Fair, which ended in Beijing on Dec 16, the federation will assist female students in technology areas by providing them with financial support and mentors.

A competition organized by the federation, launched four months ago, received more than 10,000 applications from around 200 universities and colleges nationwide.

The organizing committee chose three winning teams, and will help them to turn their business plans into real companies.

The three winning teams are from the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Hunan University and Central South University. Their products range from new material for cars to water purification filters.

"The organizing committee will provide mentorship, a 10,000 yuan (S$1,960) prize to each winner and an interest-free loan," said Luo Linjie, the program executive.

"We're doing this to help improve the employment rate of female students in the industry," said Luo. "The female employment rate in the technology sector is very low, only 19 to 20 percent. And the percentage is expected to be even lower this year."

According to Luo, in 2013, the number of graduates will be 6.99 million, 190,000 higher than last year, while the job opportunities will be almost the same. Therefore the employment rate is expected to decrease.