Business incubators are widely recognized as proven tools for promoting economic development, commercializing technology and creating jobs. Today, there are approximately 3,500 incubators worldwide, of which close to 500 are in China. In the fifteen years since its inception in 1987, the Chinese business incubation industry has developed rapidly and made noteworthy contributions to China's economic development. However, business incubation in China was limited by the fact that all Chinese incubators focused primarily on nurturing technology enterprises. By comparison, only about a third of all incubators in developed countries serve technology firms. The remainder focus on the arts, food preparation, employment, "empowerment" of disadvantaged communities, and so on. In fact, the very first business incubators, established in the 1950s in the United States, focused on empowerment and community revitalization, and this remains an important current of business incubation in the U.S. to the present. The Tianjin Women's Business Incubator (TWBI) marks the first page in an important new second chapter in the history of business incubation in China. It has already demonstrated the relevance of a new model of employment and empowerment-oriented business incubation in China, and has produced impressive results in terms of job creation for and by women. It has been a privilege for us to have been associated with the establishment of TWBI. We wish it every future success and look forward to the development of additional incubators in China based on TWBI's pioneering model. After an assessment of the pilot project CPR/98/001- Reemployment and Venture Creation of Laid-off Women Workers, through the provision of financial services, we found that this initiative faces important opportunities in a country where there is an absence of financial intermediaries for micro entrepreneurs. The Tianjin Women’s Federation Project demonstrated once again, that there are in China good business opportunities that allow the micro entrepreneurs to generate capacity of payment. It showed also to the community, that there is presence of one of the most important forces that drives the viability of this venture, “poor people are willing and capable of honoring their debts”. On the other hand, the Tianjin Women’s Federation has shown the willingness to fight against poverty, which backed by the international cooperation, can overcame in time the limits of the financial regulations in the country, that directly affect the development of Micro finance Services.
Tianjin Women Business Initiative Center makes use of the model of Business Incubator to support women’s business initiative and create the long-term and sustainable employment opportunity, it is a pioneering effort in Tianjin, even in China. Its service model of “ Shared space + Shared facilities + Shared Service + Professional consultation”
Background of the Implementation of the Project
As one of the four municipalities of China, Tianjin is an important industrial city in Northern China. Tianjin is located in the northeast of the Huabei plateau, facing Bohai Sea to its east, leaning the YanshanMountain to its north. The Haihe River is winding from the north to the south of the city. The total area of the city is 11,305 square kilometer, with a population of approximate 9.6 million. (The bird eye’s view of Tianjin, the passersby on the street.)
As a traditional industrious city, with the deepening of the state-owned enterprises, and the readjustment of the structure of the industry, the re-employment of the laid-off workers has become a difficult issue of the work; the re-employment of laid-off women workers has been the most difficult part of our work. As the representative of the women in the city of Tianjin， Tianjin Women’s Union has been working in accordance with the principle of “Determining the key issue of their working schedule as the intersection of three elements, namely, the requirements of the government, the urgency of women and the ability of the Women’s Union”, and further breakthrough all the difficult tasks of the re-employment of the laid-off worker, and help more laid-off women workers to set up business of their of own.. We started our work from research and investigations, and organize women carders from different levels to take part in the activity of “ Entering into one hundred streets, going into one thousand families , and getting to know the affairs of ten thousands families. “By “heart to heart” communication with laid-off women workers, the women’s unions get to understand the basic situation of the laid-off women workers and grasp the new characteristics of re-employment of the laid-off workers. On one hand, it’s very difficult for the laid-off women workers to find new jobs. Among all the laid-off workers, 60% of them are female; 60% of the laid-off women workers are over thirty-five years old. Among the workers who failed to find new jobs, 60% of them are female. On the other hand, the laid-off women workers have great potential to activate. They are of the same age with our country; they worked very hard, never yielding to difficulties, and with strong perseverance. Although they are a little bit older, having poor educational background, and simple skills, they can’t adapt to new situations once they were laid off. They often felt complaint, having sense of loss, they are confused, terrified and have sense of inferiority. However, as long as we try to activate their desire of creating new life, and completely release their potentials, they will change their destiny by making contributions to the society. Thirdly, the employment of laid-off women workers can’t solve all the problems fundamentally. Even though relevant agencies have tried their best to offer positions for laid-off women workers, many of them still can’t break through the cycle of employment– unemployment. The government has still under great pressure of laid-off workers and the problem of unemployment. Therefore, we hold that displaying the potential of laid-off workers and helping them find jobs of their own is the standpoint of re-employment.
Outputs of the project:
Goals and Missions:
With the willingness and decisions of the investor, UNDP, Australia Development Committee, Tianjin Municipal Government, Tianjin Women Association, with an aim of setting up and running Tianjin Women Business Center, and provide service for the laid-off women workers who are in poverty to realize employment and set up business of their own.
The core mission of the center is to provide long-term sustainable opportunity of employment for women. TWBI believes that the best way to help women entrepreneurs and women employees to have good opportunity of employment is to provide assistance and help women enterprises that are in the infancy and within the period of development.
Create Women Employment by Developing Women Enterprises.
Sign Picture of the Center
Tianjin Women Business Initiative (TWBI) is located
At the intersection of Shijing Road, Hedong, District,
And Shiwei Road, with advantageous geographical
Location and convenient highway transportations under
All weather conditions.
Its predecessor is a traditional state-owned enterprisegoing bankruptcy.
Center After Renovation
Occupying an area of 4888 ㎡
Construction Area of 5800㎡
Area which may be leased. 3100㎡
Tianjin Women Business Initiative Center was opened on Oct,18,2000.
Service provided:Items of services:
Enterprises being propagandized Consultation Service2、Service provided Items of Service
Items of Service
Lobby of the Center- Shared space for the propaganda, visiting and consultation of enterprises.
after being laid off, establishing confidence in setting up business of their own, and showing their own values. The uncertainty and anxiety to the TWBI.Psychological barriers caused by difficulty of entering into the center. Anxiety in the family which needs to be solved.These services are realized by the following five platforms:Platform opened by Business Consultation and Enterprises:The center will provide assistance in obtaining permits from industrial and commercial agency, tax agency, environmental protection agency and sanitarian agency.
enterprise diagnostic platform:
Improve the qualifications of the people with training, strengthening the concepts of using advanced business and managerial experiences.Experts hired by the center will provide consultation free of charge.
Experts from the center will provide diagnostics to the enterprise.
Name card designed for the enterprise by the experts of the center. Business Strategy and Plans made by the experts for the enterprise.
Propaganda materials designed by the experts for the enterprise.
Propaganda and Information Platform
News Reports: The media has made every effort in improving the propaganda works of the enterprise, and improves the credits and trustworthy of the enterprise. The center organizes the enterprises to provide various information concerning the market, exhibition center, and business investigation. The center conduct the activity of “four-sending” namely, sending project, sending positions, sending ideas and sending experience to the laid-off workers in the community and in the city.
Credit loan and Financing Platform
Coordinating Financing Channels and credit loans for enterprises. Center coordinating credit loan for Huanhao’s Company
5. Shared facilities free of charge Free-of-charge Property Services, such as Installment of telephones,
newspaper boxes, Hot water, sanitation, safety, forestation, and Parking lots.