Supporting startups run by female university students in China
Kanebo Cosmetics China and the Beijing Womenʼs Federation partnered up in 2009 to encourage business startups run by female university students.
In the beginning of the project, the partners invited specialists from various fields to lead training courses for a selected 100 female university students in Beijing to impart the knowledge and mindset required to start new businesses in different industries.
Later, with help from the “Kanebo (China) Startup Fund for University Students” established in 2011, the company began to provide financial support for startups run by female students. Each year two or three students are selected to receive intensive support. The selection is based on several criteria, including the companyʼs specialization, contribution to regional industry, contribution to employment in the community, and latent potential for growth.
Li Jiaxue, one individual selected to receiving support runs a family farm on the outskirts of Beijing. Her farm invites locals from the community to see farm work in action, to come into contact with domesticated animals, and to learn science in an agricultural context through hands-on experience with soil, water, and the atmosphere. Liʼs outreach activities are rooted in her community and conducted in linkage with nearby nursery and primary schools. Her farm also works proactively to recruit women from the community to help them contribute fruitfully to society.
Another support recipient is Liu Yujing, a fruit farmer making the most of the agricultural training she received at the university. At any given time, 60% of the people employed on her farm are middle-aged or elderly individuals who had trouble re-entering the labor market after losing their jobs. Her contributions as an employer have been highly commended by the local government.
In both cases, the support for startups has contributed significantly to both the success of the recipients and the community as a whole. Kanebo Cosmetics China and the Beijing Womenʼs Federation plan to continue contributing to local communities in China by supporting startup activities.
The family farm run by Li Jiaxue, one of the recipients of support from Kanebo Cosmetics China
Support for a sericulture base in Szechuan
Zhongjiang County in Deyang City was especially hard hit by the major earthquake in Szechuan province in May 2008. The quake destroyed mulberry fields in large numbers, all but wiping out silk production (sericulture), one of the regionʼs major industries.
Ever since the debut of the worldʼs first premier silk-based soap, Savon de Soie, silk has been closely linked to the history of Kanebo Cosmetics. In 2011, three years after the earthquake, Kanebo Cosmetics China began to support the rebuilding of sericulture industry in Szechuan as part of the overall reconstruction of the region. Now that the mulberry fields have come back to life in Zhongjiang County, Kanebo Cosmetics China continues to support the region with a view to exploring new business possibilities focused on both regional reconstruction and the advancement of sericulture itself.