If you are a woman entrepreneur, there is no better place to be than in China

What people are saying about China Sourcing for Small Businesses
“I have already learned a great deal about China and your business through your website and blog posts. Very impressive.”

I remember when I first lived in Shanghai years ago I noticed that in most of the households I came into contact with the husbands did all the shopping, all the cooking and a lot of the domestic chores. In fact, one of the popular expressions on the street at the time and one of the first Chinese phrases I learned was 妻管严 qi guan yan which is the Chinese phrase for “henpecked husband.” It seemed all the men in Shanghai were henpecked in those days.

These days when I think back to this experience I see it as emblematic of the real power that women in China possess. As Chairman Mao once said. 女人撑起半边天 nu ren cheng qi ban bian tian. Women hold up half the sky.

And this is why I would say that at least on half of the projects I work on at any given time in China I am dealing with female vendors. As an American this is not unusual to me. After all over 40% % of managers in companies in the US are women and quite a few of my own bosses in the US have been women. In China I don’t know what the figure is but from a my online research I think the percentage of female managers in companies and organizations is probably around 30%. This is all the more surprising when you consider that China is the society that gave us foot-binding and is a culture which still strongly favors male over female heirs, especially in rural areas. And there is still much discrimination against women in China in the absence of fair workplace labor laws and equal compensation for the same job.. Yet, women do well in China because they hold up half the sky.

At the Global Summit of Women held in Beijing in 2010 it was stated that there are over 300 million women entrepreneurs in China now. That is more female entrepreneurs than the entire population of the US. And other studies support this opportunity for women. About 20% of CEOs in Chinese companies are women as opposed to just about 5 % in Europe and the US. 34 % of senior level managers in China are women while the global average is about 20 % and the average in Japan is a pathetic 8 %.. And if that is not enough for you consider that 7 of the world’s 14 self made billionaires are Chinese women.

Because in China women hold up half the sky.

If you are sourcing in China and need advice feel free to email me. There is nothing I enjoy talking about more than China