Written by Beth Massam (British Council Generation UK Participant)
August’s China Business Seminar looked at the business incubation industry and focused on Juneng, the largest single incubation and industrial accelerator in Shenzhen. In other words, it’s a really cool, innovative company that invests in Western businesses that it believes will succeed in China, and helps them to build their presence in Shenzhen, providing floor space and funding for the projects. I hadn’t seen anything like it in Britain, so it was great to have the opportunity to look around!
We began with a tour of the Nanshan-based building, viewing some of the businesses that Juneng have developed in China. They were incredibly futuristic and included a fresh foods market that is a model for China’s plan to go cashless. There was no need to buy the juice, seafood, or anything else on offer in the market, however, as this was followed by an amazing spread of tea and cakes (which you wanted to burn off in Juneng’s high-tech gym, avoiding the 3D body scanner after eating so much food!)
This was followed by an incredibly interesting talk by Angel Zhang, a partner in the firm, about the company and how it operates, and we also learned about ‘The Big Bay’ area (a plan to establish economic links between cities in Southern China, Hong Kong, and Macau) and the socioeconomic future of Shenzhen as a city of innovation. Not only was this a brilliant way to practice our active listening skills and create an amazing networking opportunity, but it was great for interns who were considering starting their own business to understand what they must achieve to gain the interest of firms like Juneng. The speakers were entertaining and knowledgeable, so there was something of interest for everyone!
More than this, the seminar helped me to gain a deeper understanding about this fabulous city and its future. I came away excited by the potential and opportunity that Shenzhen offers, particularly for young professionals. It reinforced to me that I made a great decision to come here, and how glad I am about interning in a city that is a global technological and innovative hub. I can’t wait to see how Shenzhen develops over the next few years!
We’d like to thank Juneng for hosting us and we are very much looking forward to our next China Business Seminar. Plus, if you are interested in the Generation UK scheme provided by the British Council, you can learn more here.