Mainland students’ entrepreneurship: give you the taste of hometown

In Hong Kong, there is a special group of young people. They came from Mainland China, graduated from the famous universities of Hong Kong, while unlike other colleagues who go to famous corporations after graduation, they chose a different way to achieve their dreams in this city, that is entrepreneurship by themselves.

“Chang’an taste” was located at Hung Hom, all the creators were around 25 years old. “In most people’s mind, being a elite means entering into a Global 500, and earn a good wage,” said by Han Liang, one of the creator of “Xi Xiangji”, “however, as for us, we only want to do something rooted in our heart, and made the dream come true.”

Though the store is quiet small, “Chang’an taste” is very famous among mainland students. “This small restaurant sells food with Shaanxi feature, eating the food with my hometown taste in this city is so touching,” said Liu Wen, the customer in “Chang’an taste”.

“ Chang’an taste” is not only a restaurant, as for Han Liang, it’s a platform to promote his hometown food culture to the opposite strait, gave the mainland students a taste of home.”

While as a student who had just stepped out of the university, Han Liang had little idea what should he do in order to open up a store. “ I thought I made a very detailed plan, but when I trying to made my plan came true, I found myself totally lost, I don’t know what to do,” said Han Liang, “I know nothing about entrepreneurship, so everything was learnt from the previous failures.”

After serious consideration, Han Liang and his group decided to set this store at Hong Hom, an area that gathered tremendous mainland students. “I chose Hong Hom is because largely amount of mainland students were rent here, in addition, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is nearby,” said Han Liang.

Han Liang knows in order to improve the competitive edge, the most important thing is to improve the quality and the taste of the food. “I almost ate all the famous Chinese hamburger store in my hometown Xi’an; I visited some cooks and asked them the recipe of making delicious Chinese hamburgers,” said Han Liang.

Before officially open up, Han Liang and his team prepared 500 portion of Chinese hamburger for the friends and strangers, writing down their comments and advises, “I hope I can do the best,” said Han Liang.

The team was consisted of six young people, they know how to make use of social internet. Among mainland students, Wechat is a very popular social network, the team made this app as a platform to do the marketing and promotion.

The team published a article to promote their store before the open up, in one-week time, there were total 90,000 people read this article, after repost on different social network, almost all the mainland students in Hong Kong knew there was a restaurant with Shaanxi feature is going to open up in Hong Hom.

According to Leirui, the member of this team, there were almost 100 people gathered in front of their store at the first day of the opening up, 500 portions of food were sold out in three hours. “That’s a good start for all of us, we were all encouraged,” said Leirui.

“But only the taste could decide the future of our store,” said by Han Liang. He thought people may come to his store once because of marketing, but only the taste could lead them come here for the second and third time.

Right now, “Chang’an” taste has launched different production that satisfied not only the mainland students but also local Hong Kong people, “diversification could lead us to a brighter future,” said Han Liang.

The first day of opening up of Chang’an taste

Stay or not

Graduation season is coming, after extensive meetings and farewell parties, the most serious problem begins to come out, “where should I go?” For the mainland students who stay in Hong Kong, they have to think about this question and made their decision as soon as possible.

Hong Kong, known as the metropolis full of working opportunities, a normal people could build his empire based on his devotion and efforts. At the same time, this city is also famous for its pressure and high price. A summary from The Economist Intelligence Unit said, Hong Kong ranked 14 in the latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.

J.K Jiang, graduated from Chinese University of Hong Kong said, whether or not staying in this city is the question confused him after the first day of his arrival. “At the first day I arrived in this city, I knew I love it,” said J.K Jiang, “ This city is energetic, full of opportunity, and gave me the freedom that I couldn’t have in mainland China,” said by J.K Jiang, “but I have to consider the living expenses here, that’s a huge barrier for me.”

As for J.K Jiang, his house rent was 5,000 Hong Kong dollars a month, with another classmate share a bedroom less than 15 square meters. “In Hong Kong, I have to spend 8,000 HKD a month to cover the basic daily expenses,” complained by J.K, “ If I back to Mainland China, I can get a quiet decent job with well paid, but the economic pressure there would be less.”

While there also some people believe, Hong Kong is a place to achieve their dreams.

Echo Wu, studies international journalism at Chinese University of Hong Kong said, all the knowledge and skills she learnt at Hong Kong was hard to achieve in Mainland China. In order to achieve her journalism dream, she had to stay in Hong Kong.

We all know the journalism environment in Mainland China, the journalists have no freedom to express themselves and honestly report the news,” said by Echo, “I still remember the principles my professor told me at the beginning of the semester.” She added, “I know staying in Hong Kong might be a tough choice, but I think there is something much more important than the comfortable life, and I hope I will not regret my decision.”

That’s the unique charming of Hong Kong, it gives people the pressure but offers them the land to draw the blueprint at the same time. “Once I decided, there is no way to retract,” said by Echo.

Irent: reputation is more important than profit

It’s 11 o’clock right now, Wang Yizhou, the creator of irent was still hanging around in Hong Kong, communicating with the landlords of different houses, convincing them to establish the cooperation with irent.

Irent is an online platform that offers the housing renting services and information for the mainland students in Hong Kong, and most of the houses were gathered around the famous universities.

“The current goal for irent is not maximized the profit, our top concern is the reputation of our platform,” said by Wang Yizhou, “If the students’ first choice is irent when he or she needs to rend the house, I believe that’s the success of our platform.”

2012, Wang Yizhou was admitted by Chinese University of Hong Kong to have his master degree, but he found the university in Hong Kong was unlike the ones in Mainland China, students need to find the house by their own. “For some students who had never been to Hong Kong, it’s a complicated process,” said by Wang Yizhou.

That catalyzed Wang Yizhou’s idea to create an online platform, which can offer the renting information to the overseas students. In 2014, Wang Yizhou resigned his job at foreign company, and cooperated with several friends to establish this platform.

“At the beginning, none of our team members got the support from our parents,” said by Wang Yizhou. Huang Wenjing, one of the creator of irent said, “My parent think stability is the prior elements in the life, they couldn’t understand why I resign the job and trying to create my own career in this city.” After transparent and in-depth communication, their parents gradually accept their idea, and encourage them to do the things they love.

In Hong Kong, the agency always charge the same amount of one-month housing rent as the agency fee, while irent only charge the ten percent of the one-month housing rent as the agency fee. The huge difference in agency fee improves the competitive edge of irent, and attracts more landlords to establish the cooperation with irent.

Right now, irent got the support from PCCW, and invested by a local company with 10,000 Hong Kong Dollar. They have their own office with 6 team member, includes both local people and Mainland people. “We are now contacting with the landlord in Singapore, trying to launch our services out of Hong Kong,” said by Wang Yizhou.

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