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November 17, 2009

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Home » Metro » Education

56% of student startups get low marks

MORE than half of government-subsidized student business companies were scored as "mediocre" or even "bad-performing" after years of operation, according to an report released yesterday at the Shanghai Entrepreneurship Week.

Still, Wu Xiujuan, an official with the Shanghai Technology Entrepreneurship Foundation for Graduates, said.

"For students with zero experience, the result is already very good."

The government-backed organization, which funds student entrepreneurs, assessed all 423 student startups on their fund management, profit, market performance and potential.

About 23 percent enterprises were graded "excellent," 21 percent "good," and the rest "mediocre" or "bad."

The four groups will receive different kinds of consultation and guidance, officials said.

Moreover, further financial help may be offered to the excellent and good enterprises with potential, while ordinary and bad ones may be excluded.

"Bad ones may also turn good under efforts," Wu said.

Five Minutes, a game company which earns millions of yuan from Facebook monthly, was on the "bad performance" list last year.

The company, set up by East China University of Science and Technology, got a 150,000 yuan (US$22,000) grant from the organization in 2007.

It couldn't get many orders due to the economic crisis last year, soon spent all the money and faced losing employees.

After the organization suggested changes, the company developed a popular game which allows players to either grow or steal others' vegetables online. It draws millions of users.

"Many student business companies lack a marketing strategy though they have good products," said Li Jun, executive of the organization's education and research department.


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