AN INCUBATOR HATCHES NEW BUSINESSES FOR CHINESE LAID-OFF WOMEN WORKERS

ZOU’S CAR ARRIVING AT STORE:

NARRATION

A chauffeured limousine in Tianjin, an industrial city in Northern China. The passenger is Zou Lianhui, the president of a technology venture that includes a chain of 60 car-wash stores, employing nearly 300 workers.

 

ZOU GETTING OUT OF CAR AND INTO THE STORE:

 

Just a few years ago, she was an unemployed ink factory worker struggling to make ends meet by selling flowers. Now she owns a business that’s worth a million US dollars or more, selling machines that recycle water.

 

MACHINE AND CAR WASHING:

 

The machines have helped revive the city’s car-wash industry that almost collapsed when a regional drought led to a ban on the use of fresh water.

 

ZOU TALKING TO MANAGER:

 

Ms. Zou owes her success largely to the Tianjin Women Business Incubator.

 

EXTERIOR BUSINESS INCUBATOR/COUNSELLING :

 

Established in the year 2000, it’s a pilot programme set up by the Tianjin Women Federation and supported by the UN Development Programme, UNDP. Its beneficiaries are women laid off by state-owned factories as a result of China’s recent economic restructuring.

 

TRAINING CLASS:

 

By offering counselling and training programmes to promote new business, it has helped 3,000 women workers re-enter the job market. Yang Jing Sui is the Director of the Incubator.

 

YANG JING SUI ON CAMERA:

 

YANG:

“We view unemployed women as the motivating force and engine for development in our country.”

 

WOMEN AT MICRO-CREDIT PROGRAMME :

 

NARRATION

The project includes a micro-credit programme that offers start-up loans. Although many workers have no business experience, they seem to have a natural entrepreneurial talent, says UNDP’s China Representative Kerstin Leitner.

 

KERSTIN LEITNER ON CAMERA :

 

LEITNER:

“What they really need is just that encouragement, that force, that empowerment, that kind of support to learn how to run a business.”

 

WOMEN MAKING DOLLS:

 

NARRATION

The incubator supports some 40 businesses ranging from small-scale crafts to medium scale ventures.

 

PEOPLE PREPARING LUNCH BOXES/MAKING CLOTHES:

 

For a hundred dollars a month, they get space, free utilities and business consultation. Many more women are waiting for their turn to join it. Wang Huai Ying of the Tianjin Women’s Federation explains their goal.

 

WANG HUAI YING ON CAMERA :

 

WANG:

As they develop their own business, they create not only jobs for themselves, but also new jobs and opportunities for other unemployed workers to start their own business.”