The story appears on

Page A5

June 28, 2012

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Education

Uni students stir up controversy for starting pig knuckle business

THREE undergraduate students may get 100,000 yuan (US$15,716) in startup cash from a foundation next month after they successfully started a business selling roasted pig knuckles, which has cooked up a controversy.

One question repeatedly raised by netizens is why the three undergraduate students, who major in either chemistry or computer technology, would get the startup cash for starting a business that almost anyone can do.

In an online debate on the microblog site, some posters blamed the foundation for encouraging the students. Some even said the students had wasted years of training in their majors. Others, however, argued the students should be encouraged for being good entrepreneurs.

Li Honglin, a 24-year-old Anhui Province native and one of the three student entrepreneurs, told Shanghai Daily he doesn't care about the online debate. He said their opinions won't bring him much fun or a monthly income in excess of 10,000 yuan (US$1,571), but his new business can.

"I think it's fine for students to start whatever legal business they like as long as they do it with their own hands," Li said.

Li, an undergraduate student majoring in chemistry at East China University of Science and Technology, said they generated the idea of starting the business after Lai Zhangping traveled to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, and learned how to cook pig knuckles.

Lai has always enjoyed cooking during his free time and found there were no roasted pig knuckle vendors in Shanghai, so he learned how to cook it, Li said.

Li said they applied for startup funds by sending a business proposal to Shanghai Technology Innovation Foundation for University Students, a non-profit, government-backed foundation that encourages and helps student entrepreneurs.

But the proposal was rejected.

"It was rejected because it was too simple and the students didn't do enough research," said a foundation official surnamed Wu, "Some experts thought the business was a waste of their talents."

But the three students decided to try again.

They opened up stalls at local stadiums and a university town to attract girls and young women who believe the snack is good for their skin. They issued 200 questionnaires to customers, asking if they should charge 7 yuan or 8 yuan for the snack.

"It was a success," said Li, "In one month we earned over 10,000 yuan in profit as our products were very popular. If we can open up more stores, we can surely earn much more."

The students sent a second application to the foundation. It was approved. After passing a final review next month, the students may get the cash, said Wu.

"Although foundation experts are still concerned the business may waste their talents, they were touched by their perseverance and their success," Wu said.

Li said: "We are not doing this just for the money. We expect to have a different life experience and plan to open up more outlets in the future."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend