About The China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge

The China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge has been developed by leading universities in the UK and China to bring together existing businesses and new student-led start-ups that are looking to develop commercial relationships and exploit market opportunities offered by new business collaborations between the two countries.

The Economic Rationale

Due to the ever increasing integration of world economies, the collaboration between countries to boost business is more important than ever.

  • China is the growing powerhouse of the world economy with a huge consumer market of its own and a rapidly rising scientific and technological base that is increasingly attracting worldwide attention. The Chinese government, academics and enterprises are increasingly attaching importance to intellectual property rights and technology research and development, in order to achieve industrial upgrading and enhance our competitiveness.
  • The United Kingdom, as one of the world’s ten largest economies, is renowned for its entrepreneurial and flexible higher education system, and for a culture of cultivating innovative ideas.

Every year 5,000 Chinese students come to the UK to experience higher education with over 75,000 Chinese students having studied in the UK (UCAS) . UK businesses have invested in more than 6,000 projects in China, a total worth over £8bn, and is by far the biggest recipient of Chinese foreign direct investment in Europe – capturing 11 per cent of the total (FT).

There is a comparatively high-level of entrepreneurial activity in both countries. 24.6% of Chinese citizens of working age are involved in some form of entrepreneurial activity, compared with 10.5% in the UK , and this trend is growing, with the proportion of the working population engaged in the earliest stages of entrepreneurial activity in China increasing from approximately 11% in 2002/3 to 16% by 2006/7, representing nearly 50% growth in just four years.

How We Are Rising to The Challenge

Amidst this environment of entrepreneurship in both countries, the difference in business cultures are still significant and this makes doing business in overseas territories daunting for many small businesses and entrepreneurs. This programme aims to promote the opportunities that exist and highlight potential stars to watch in the future.

While many programmes exist to teach and encourage graduates to become entrepreneurs, the China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge provides a platform for international entrepreneurs to hone their business plans and attract potential investors. The Challenge encourages current students, including postdocs, and recent graduates to explore new, international ventures that utilise international resources or markets.