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September 28, 2009

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Home » Metro » Education

Temple helps fund student entrepreneurs

SHANGHAI'S Jade Buddha Temple launched a 10 million yuan (US$1.46 million) fund over the weekend to help university students set up their own businesses.

University graduates who are willing to set up their own companies in the city can apply for funding, and preference will be given to students from poor families.

"We are obliged to repay society," said the temple's abbot Juexing at the launching ceremony on Saturday.

The temple established the fund to help students, who don't have much cash or real estate to act as guarantees for business loans, in the recent financial downturn.

The temple is offering loans up to 100,000 yuan (US$14,600) to students without interest or at low interest rates for up to four years.

The fund is expected to complement the Shanghai Technology Entrepreneurship Foundation for Graduates, which functions as a guarantor for student loans and favors those with a patent for cutting-edge technology or scientific achievements.

The first batch of 10 students received funding totaling 810,000 yuan at Shanghai Donghua University on Saturday.

"The loan has come at a good time because my company is striving to expand market coverage now," said Zhang Xuhao, one beneficiary from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

His company offers online meal orders to students at Jiao Tong University and residents at nearby communities, with daily sales of 5,000 yuan on average.

"Our sales are expected to exceed 2 million yuan this year and that will help us pay off the loan soon," he said.


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