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Less than 1% of graduates start business
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In China, less than 1 percent of the college graduates start their own business, while in Europe and the United States, the proportion has reached 20-30 percent. Also in China, college graduates' chance of success in starting their business remains low. According to a report released by the Ministry of Education in 2004, of the 97 companies established by college graduates, only 17 percent is profitable. Only 30 percent of the companies run by college graduates can survive for more than five years, the China Youth Daily reported.

The information was released at the KAB (Know About Business) Entrepreneurship Education Forum held in Beijing recently. At the forum, experts from home and abroad were trying to think of a way to deal with the problem.

Many experts at the forum agreed that the problem had arisen because in China, many college graduates knew little about how to start a business.

"At present, there are no other countries in the world that have so many business opportunities as in China. However, many business opportunities are neglected. This might be due to two reasons. First, in China, the infrastructure for business is not mature enough. The legal environment, the financial and investment facilities that are required in doing business are not good enough. Second, people lack a systematic training about starting business," Professor Klaus Haftendorn from the International Labor Organization said.

In China, knowledge about starting a business is only included in MBA programs. For undergraduates, there are no majors that specifically deal with this issue. Even if there are some courses to teach them how to start a business, for most of the time students can only get some superficial knowledge about it. These courses actually teach a lot about how to make career development plans or they are just career guides. There are not a set of courses that specifically deal with the issue and therefore students can not get comprehensive knowledge about it, said Li Jiahua, director of the KAB Education (China) Research Institute, who is also vice president of the China Youth College of Political Science.

How can China learn from other countries in improving students' skills in starting a business? Some experts suggest that it might be important for Chinese students to conduct more business activities so as to gain more practical experiences in running business.

(China News Service November 8, 2007)

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