Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Business Entrepreneur

The rise of and the types of Chinese entrepreneurs

A look at what the rise in successful, self-starters says about the modern Chinese culture, and what types of entrepreneurs are leading the pack.



Types of Chinese entrepreneurs

While it’s true that the new Chinese middle-class is gaining momentum, it’s is also important to take notice of the rise of Chinese entrepreneurs. Historically, entrepreneurship blossomed in societies and cultures that touted free speech, individualism and creative thought. Small wonder China didn’t make “The 10 Best Countries for Entrepreneurs” list featured in a recent 24/7 Wall St.1 article. The world has gotten smaller and it definitely shows in the changing views of entrepreneurship in China. Although the Chinese government favors foreign investments that often disadvantages new companies, there is a new breed of non-traditional entrepreneurs that are breaking all odds. This new type of entrepreneur is distinctively different from our traditional view of an American entrepreneurs in two main ways.

The “Student” Entrepreneur

The most common type of risk-taking, self-starters are referred to as “student” entrepreneurs. They are young, driven, talented and still in school. Whether it be undergraduate and graduate level students, many of China’s young adults are paving new roads in internet businesses and small partnerships.

The “Learned” Entrepreneur

Another common type is what I’ve dubbed the “learned” entrepreneur. This is one who, having no previous example of what entrepreneurship is, took classes and essentially learned how to be an entrepreneur. Many college campuses across China are beginning to offer innovation and entrepreneurship classes as the country (and global marketplace) is becoming aware of the lack of understanding and support around being an entrepreneur.

Cultural Implications

It is crucial to remember the importance of “learning” how to be an entrepreneur. Most entrepreneurs in the West had some example of entrepreneurship to emulate. As China breaks out of its Confucian background and begins to embrace risk, unconformity and instability, a clear shift in modern Chinese culture is evident. In the business landscape, it’s important to understand the dichotomy that exists between old & young, East & West, and traditional & modern. As a tip, if you are looking to start a joint venture in China or test out what it would be like to work with a Chinese entrepreneur, your best bet may actually be found in the mid-20s age group.

1 24/

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Written By

Monica Moffitt, founder and Principal Cultural Consultant at Tianfen Consulting, Inc., has traveled the world and enjoys linguistics and all things culture. Having split her career between project management and business analytics, Monica merges logic, fluency in Chinese and creativity in her new role as cultural consultant. She received a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies/Chinese from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Business Administration (International Management and Marketing) from University of Texas at Dallas.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.



Business Articles

A lot has changed in China in recent years, and if you're doing business with Chinese clients or seeking to open up shop abroad...

Business News

Islam, with its long history in China, is now gaining more attention than ever. It is important for brands doing business abroad or traveling...

Business Entrepreneur

While many business owners see mainland China as a haven for manufacturing and production, it’s worthwhile to get to know their Hong Kong counterparts.

Business News

As China and many countries in Africa develop deeper political and financial ties, here are four things you should know about one prominent relationship.


The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.