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November 21, 2009

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Women entrepreneurs in spotlight

THE Summit of Elite Chinese Businesswomen 2009, one of the biggest of its kind for businesswomen in China, ends today in Shanghai.

As one of the highlights of the summit, a list of "The Honor Roll of China Elite Businesswomen" will be issued jointly by 100 authoritative media outlets today. It is the most influential award selection of the elite businesswomen in China, says Chen Youyu, CEO of WinGo PR, the organizer.

This award evaluates the candidates from various aspects, such as corporate philanthropy, social responsibility, public influence and commercial value so as to build a model for businesswomen.

Women are no strangers to the world of big business.

On this year's Hurun China Rich List, Cheung Yan, president of Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd, ranked as the second wealthiest person on the Chinese mainland. She rose to No. 1 on the 2006 list of China's richest people, becoming the first woman to hold that position.

Although the majority is still largely male, the percentage of female entrepreneurs in China has steadily increased.

Most female entrepreneurs concentrate on service industries such as catering, advertising, fashion and beauty care. Since some women are forced to start their own business to make a living, they prefer the service industry because of its low cost and technology level.

A 2003 survey done by the United Nations Development Fund for Women and the China Female Entrepreneurs Association found that about 98 percent of enterprises owned by females earned profits in that year, 7.8 percentage points higher than those enterprises owned by men. And in most of these enterprises, about 60 percent of the employees were women, who were less likely to become job hoppers.


Nowadays, more investors have focused on businesswomen. Compared with male entrepreneurs, women are considered to have an edge in hard-working spirit and credit level in many experts' eyes.

"Traditionally we often believe that businesswomen will struggle between career and family responsibilities, and their work must be influenced. But that's not the case," says Chen. "They're always very diligent. Many of them can be even called workaholics. There seems to be no conflict between work and family for them. Most of them can handle it very well."

It is reported all female entrepreneurs work more than eight hours every day, and about 50 percent of them spend more than 10 hours per day on work, among which the longest daily working hours are 17. In addition, more than 80 percent sleep less than seven hours every day.

On the other side, some experts also think that businesswomen have some unique advantages in management, especially when "flexible management" becomes very popular.

Flexible management is human-based management that centers on people and promoting common values and culture. It doesn't believe in ordering or forcing employees to complete tasks, but achieves its goals through education, convincing and subtle influence, trying to transfer the will of the group into self-conscious behavior of every member.

In addition, the ability of women to be understanding and better communicators can also create leadership that helps establish a harmonious environment inside a company and provide a spiritual base for its future development.

Since the reform and opening-up policy adopted in China, more and more foreign elite businesswomen come to China and grow together with the Chinese economy.

With the steady development of China's economy, more women around the world are choosing to build their careers in China. They regard China's market as an important part of the business chain, and some have created many promising investment projects.


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