One choice which new university graduates are increasingly faced with is whether to find a job or start their own business. Many are choosing the second, as the country encourages mass entrepreneurship.
Li Chenchen has just graduated from College of Light Industry & Textile & Food Engineering, Sichuan University with a master’s degree in fashion design.
Like any aspiring designer, she wanted to establish her own brand.
“I’ve done internships at fashion companies, but I thought that restricted my ideas” she said.
So last year, Li Chenchen opened up this shop which specializes in leather goods.
She’s one of an increasing number of graduates who are choosing to start their own business, rather than find a job.
Li Chenchen wanted all these rewards. But like many, she also understands the frustrations.
She wanted her store to be in a big shopping mall. To afford the rent and to fund other initial start-up costs, she had to borrow 300 thousand yuan, or about 45 thousand US dollars.
For a student, that’s a lot to pay back.
“The first three weeks were the hardest because there was so much uncertainty. You don’t know how your products will be received by customers,”she said.
However, her business has turned out to be a success. It's not a massive hit yet, but enough to ensure a comfortable life in a big city.
With the experience, Li Chenchen opened up a second store, this time through a university initiative.
For Li Chenchen, it’s also a dream come true.