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Business stands still for new firm

SUN Yunlei, 23, who graduated from a local university last year, opened a performance company renting out live sculpture shows when his classmates were hunting for jobs.

He first got involved in live sculpture three years ago, taking part in a performance organized by Jing'an District's Culture Bureau. For the performance he was painted gold to look like a statue.

Sun became more and more interested in live sculpture, and opened his own performance company when he graduated. Sun believed the low start-up cost would ensure he was exposed to little risk.

He is now the boss, accountant and salesman for the company, which hires out live sculptures to corporate events as entertainment and decoration.

Ambitious and energetic, Sun was the envy of his peers at the beginning of last year. But he has just moved his office from downtown Xinzha Road in Jing'an District to a shabby apartment in Zhabei District. Sun says companies tend to look at him as a student who has just graduated, instead of an entrepreneur.

What frustrates him more is that many Chinese companies do not accept his avant garde performances, though similar things have been popular in the West.

Moreover, as the economic crisis hits hard, many companies have slashed their budgets for hiring corporate entertainment.

Sun said his firm is not yet profitable. He considered giving up his business and went to several job fairs at the beginning of the year.

However, he is unwilling to close his firm, and is seeking advice from anyone who can help.

Expert's advice:

Wan Zaikui, instructor of the Shanghai Youth Entrepreneurship Campaign, says:

"As a company providing performance shows, it shouldn't only focus on live sculpture. Sun could also develop ties with bands and acrobats to provide other kinds of performances, especially if companies don't often accept his core business.

"Sun can also ask Jing'an District Culture Bureau to introduce him to culture bureaus in other districts. He should try to develop connections with foreign companies, which may be more open to live sculptures."

Sun can be contacted at: 139 1866 0732.


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