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Fund cushions graduates starting own businesses
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University graduates may find it easier to start their own business, with the launch of a fund to cushion their loans.

The government-backed Shanghai Technology Entrepreneurship Foundation for Graduates announced yesterday a link with China Merchants Bank to launch a guarantee fund for students applying for business-starting loans.

The fund, jointly raised by the foundation and Yangpu District government, will function as the guarantee deposit for student loans.

If young entrepreneurs find themselves in a financial crisis, the fund can pay off their loans.

"This guarantee will greatly facilitate students' loan applications and ease their worries about business failure," Qi Yuwei, vice secretary general of the foundation, said at Shanghai Entrepreneurship Week's closing ceremony yesterday.

Meanwhile, migrant graduate entrepreneurs will also be entitled to apply for a local residence permit, Shanghai Personnel Bureau announced yesterday.

Those who have a patent for cutting-edge technology or scientific achievement will get extra points in the permits evaluation system.

The bureau will also set up a subsidy of 50,000 yuan (US$6,667) to 200,000 yuan for each student to finance product research and development.

Student companies are also eligible for free personnel services.

"It's the goal of several government departments to encourage entrepreneurship and build up a favorable business-starting environment for young innovators," said Cao Xinsheng, director of the Shanghai Human Resources Service Center.

This year's entrepreneurship week included a series of forums, road shows and policy consultations held in the city.

Next year the week will be part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week network.

(Shanghai Daily November 12, 2007)

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