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【China Daily】Student entrepreneurs from around world face off

发布时间:2014/10/26 22:40:24

 

College student Zhang Haoqian brought electricity to 16 families in rural areas of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region by solving some thorny technical problems. 
 
Born in the rural area of Urad Rear Banner, Bayannur, the 22-year-old student from North China Electric Power University understood the difficulty of living in the dark and began trying to bring electricity to herdsmen since he entered college in 2010. 
 
"I first helped them to install a wind power facility to produce electricity and storing it in a battery. However, I underestimated the severe weather, and the battery lost power quickly," Zhang recalled. 
 
He and members of his team later figured out the way to store the battery under-ground to keep it warm, which improved performance. 
 
They subsequently participated in the 2014 Enactus World Cup, a global business-model competition after winning the national championship. 
 
Representing China, Zhang"s team, along with more than 4,000 university students, 183 mentors and 749 company executives from around the world, gathered in Beijing for the three-day finals, which began on Wednesday. 
 
The competition, organized by the Chinese People"s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and Enactus, a global nonprofit organization, aims to create a platform to showcase the talents and achievements of future leaders. 
 
John P. Bilbrey, president and chief executive officer of The Hershey Company and chairman of Enactus, said he believed that Enactus is a great learning environment for students. 
 
"Their interactions are not only with other students and their sponsors but also with executives and academics, so there is a whole group of people that come together to assist these students in thinking about their different entrepreneurial activities," Bilbery said. 
 
He said he spends 10 hours per month on average to participate in the competition besides attending big events related to Enactus.
 
"I gain oxygen from it," he said. 
 
Ali Ijaz, a graduate student from Texas State University in the US, is the leader of the US team. Ijaz carried out three projects with his team, including one called "Row", which aims to provide business solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises. 
 
To carry out the project, Ijaz started a company, which he also named Row. 
 
"It has started making a profit already," the 26-year-old said. 
 
Senior lecturer Vicki West from the McCoy College of Business Administration at the university believes that championships like Enactus encourage students to work on their ideas and turn innovative dreams into reality. 
 
Inthe 39 years since the program first launched in 1975, this year was the first time for China to host the finals. 
 
"China is the world"s second-largest economy," said Alvin Rohrs, CEO of Enactus Worldwide. "When social organizations like Enactus operate in this country, it will benefit the overall development of education and corporate social responsibility." 
 
Zhang Haoqian, who brought electricity to the herdsmen, has started a new life in Tianjin as a graduate student at Tianjin University. However, that change will not stop him from working on the project. And he thinks big. 
 
"We are applying for a project to set up electricity facilities for 500 families," Zhang said. 
 
Contact the writers at luoWangshu@chinadaily.com.cn and suzhou@chinadaily.com.cn 

 

 

Student entrepreneurs from around world face off 

Players around the world show off their ethnic costumes as the 2014 Enactus World Cup begins its three-day final competition on Wednesday in Beijing.  Wang Mingxu / For China Daily