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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Valuable Advice @ eLab Camp Lecture

September 27, 2017. Shanghai – Have you ever thought about starting a business in Shanghai? You have a great idea, a potential business partner – now what?

Do you know how or where to register the business? Do you need a physical address if you are an online business? And what if you are not Chinese; are you even allowed to start a business in Shanghai? What are the restrictions, the things you need to be aware of, and what is the Shanghai government doing to support start-ups?

All these questions and more were answered tonight during the second eLab camp class where we were joined by four senior officials from Shanghai Employment Promotion Centre, the Hongkou District Employment Promotion Centre and the Hongkou Entrepreneurship Service Centre. 

Innovation and entrepreneurship are currently on the rise in China and now, more than ever, there are increasing national and local policies supporting small & medium enterprises (SMEs) and helping new entrepreneurs start their businesses.

Mr. Liu Nie Jing, section chief of Shanghai Employment Promotion Centre, highlighted the benefits of making Shanghai a start-up’s home base. Besides the city’s obvious market size and bustling economy (population of 25 million, GDP of RMB270 million), the fact that it has the busiest seaport in the world and is a major financial epicentre, there are plenty of financing opportunities available to start-ups in Shanghai. One source of funding for new ventures is the Shanghai municipal government. They not only provide financing in terms of loans, but also help start-ups lower costs by providing subsidies in areas such as social security insurance for employees, etc.

In addition to choosing Shanghai as the home for your start-up in, it is also crucial to consider the specific district where your business is to be registered. For those based in Hongkou, there are a lot of local resources available for budding entrepreneurs. Chen Menghui, Director of Hongkou District Employment Promotion Centre spoke of a major benefit that every entrepreneur can immediately make use of – an agency that can help navigate the very complicated steps involved in business registration, reducing the time it takes to complete the process from 3 months to only one.

And the benefits don’t just stop there. The Hongkou district also provides guidance and subsidies to new entrepreneurs and their start-ups, including grants, rental subsidies, employment subsidies, etc. For entrepreneurs who are looking for other likeminded individuals, Hongkou also has an abundance of incubators, co-working spaces, pitch and idea competitions etc. During her presentation, Ms. Zhou Yu’ou also walked the audience through the facilities of Hongkou’s Entrepreneurship Service Management Centre, a 24-hour, five-storey space built especially for entrepreneurs to work, find resources, mingle and create together.

With all these financing opportunities, resources, and facilities at our fingertips the real question to eLabbers now is – what are you waiting for?

Jacqueline Shi
Charmaine N. Clarke
Photo Editor: 
Panda Kong