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August 14, 2009

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University tells its contestants to mind their own business

TWENTY students at East China University of Science and Technology went to Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province last month, taking part in a competition to establish a business.

In the university's 9th Survival Competition, the rules were different this year. The contestants had to be bosses rather than employees and the competition was judged not only on money earned but on the achievements of the business.

In the previous years' competitions, contestants were required to survive in a strange city for 10 days with only 100 yuan.

The contestants had 300 yuan to spend this year, enough for a person to survive for 10 days.

But the money was not just to allow them to survive, it also has to be invested in a business.

"The core of the competition this year is not 'survival' any more. Instead, it is the establishment of a business," says Qian Changping, the teacher from the university in charge of the competition.

Students were divided into six teams, and each one developed a plan for a business. One of the teams came up with an idea of selling special glasses for the recent total solar eclipse and earned 658 yuan in the process.

"Success comes with business opportunities and efforts," says Du Yi, a student from the team. "If you don't work hard, you will miss opportunities."

Mo Fei, a student in a team that earned most by distributing leaflets for hair salons, learned a lot from the competition.

"Establishing a business is not as easy as I thought. It needs courage. I'm still lacking in those experiences."

The result of the competition will be announced next month.


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