SHANGHAI: University students and new graduates in Hangzhou are being offered government subsidies of up to 200,000 yuan ($29,000) to set up their own businesses, a labor official said on Monday.
Wu Xiujun, from the Hangzhou labor bureau, said: "We will evaluate their business plans and grant subsidies of between 20,000 yuan and 200,000 yuan."
People should submit their plans and feasibility reports to an expert panel for approval, she said.
The Hangzhou government has launched a slew of initiatives to encourage graduates to set up their own businesses, and has already subsidized 37 projects, she said.
Special counters have been opened at industry and commerce bureaus to guide graduates through the registration process, which is free of charge, Wu said.
Also, the minimum amount of registered capital required has been lowered to 30,000 yuan for consulting and retail firms, she said.
Low-cost or even free office space will be provided for up to two years, she said.
Young entrepreneurs can also apply for subsidies of 30,000 yuan per year for three consecutive years to attend trade fairs to help them promote their businesses, she said.
The Shanghai labor bureau has forecast tough times ahead for next year's jobseekers, as small- and medium-sized companies in the Yangtze Delta region struggle to deal with the global financial crisis.
A study conducted last year in Shanghai found that almost 60 percent of university graduates were interested in starting their own business, but 89 percent of them failed to do so. --By Cao Li (China Daily) Updated: 2008-12-24 07:39