Over 10 million entrepreneurs emerged in 90 Chinese cities between the start of 2008 and the end of 2010, the number growing on average 15 percent each year, said an official from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) on Friday.
Xin Changxing, deputy minister of the ministry said, in the 90 cities in which statistics were recorded, the average number of entrepreneurs in every 10,000 members of the economically active population increased from 130 in 2008 to 168 in 2010. Forty two percent of the newly founded economic entities survived over three years, and the number of staff they employed hiked on average 30 percent per year.
"The statistics show that gearing up the development of entrepreneurship further enhances its contributions to employment," Xin told Xinhua.
China's employment pressures, amplified by its huge population and social structure, have inspired the government to implement policies to encourage and support entrepreneurship in recent years.
"In fact, China has a large space for entrepreneurs," said Zhou Tianyong, professor of the Party School of the Communist Party of China Central Committee. "China has 11.66 enterprises for every 1,000 people. The average standard of developing countries is 20 to 30 and that of developed ones is 40 to 50."
Zhou said Europe carried out policies to encourage entrepreneurship in the 1990s to cope with severe unemployment, a move which created more than 10 million job opportunities from 1997 to 2001.
The United States and Japan also brought in similar policies to explore job opportunities, especially for youths and women, said Zhou.
China's own enterprise-boosting initiatives have included issuing 26.39 billion yuan (4.16 billion U.S. dollars) of small-amount guaranteed loans in 2010, 65 percent higher than in 2009, and more than the totals for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 combined, Xin said.
Liu Danhua, director of the training and employment department of the MOHRSS said that small-amount guaranteed loans and financial breaks have proven conducive to entrepreneurs' financing.
Moreover, the central government often cuts taxation, offers free training and requires local support for entrepreneurship, Liu added.
However, Zhou pointed out that many potential entrepreneurs remained wary of current levels of taxation and red tape despite the measures.
A report by the World Bank showed recently that start-up enterprises in China sometimes faced unreasonable bureaucracy and fees.
Zhou said that, besides long term policies, governments at all levels should facilitate entrepreneurs with convenient procedures and acceptable fees and taxation.