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Enterprising Mom, Daughter Thrive in Reform, Opening-up Era

Viewed 223 times 2018-11-7 17:30 |System category:News

Zhang Xiuhui's family.

 

A mom and daughter-in-law in southeast China's Fujian province have created a happy life for themselves and their family over the country's past 40 years of reform and opening up, according to a recent profile.


Since reform and opening-up was implemented, Jinjiang in Fujian province has achieved an amazing leap forward, transforming itself from a poverty-stricken area to a top 10 county of China.


Senior businesswoman Zhang Xiuhui is now chairman of Jinjiang Huifang Logistics Co.


What her family has undergone over these years is the very epitome of the remarkable changes brought about by the reform and opening up in the country. Brought up in an impoverished household and having no money to attend college, she became a kindergarten teacher after leaving school.


However, this strong-minded young woman never gave up striving for a better life. Three years later, she transferred from a kindergarten to a mosquito-repellent incense factory, then to a shoe company, and became a company executive step-by-step.


"Back then, against the backdrop of reform and opening up to the outside world,  foreign enterprises in Jinjiang had to ship their imports and exports in containers via the customs of Shenzhen and then Hong Kong, where the cargoes are carried to other parts of the world. It was such a situation that gave me the idea of establishing a transport enterprise," Zhang explained.


In the 80s, Zhang resigned and set up her own motor transport company after foreseeing the development prospects of the industry.


"There were dozens of trucks to run each day, and I could not afford to hire enough workers," Zhang recalls to mind the tough times.


Therefore, she had to act as a boss in the daytime and a worker in the evening, doing the job from dawn to dusk.


In the early days of her entrepreneurship, Zhang's eldest daughter was born. Zhang came under pressure from both her family and career.


Later, the number of trucks in her company increased from one to 50, making it the largest logistics enterprise in Jinjiang at that time.


Though the logistics business was booming, Zhang did not stop at that, and instead, she was always looking for new opportunities.


In 2009, when she learnt that commercial housing was in short supply in her town, she soon set up a real estate company. The first commercial residential housing complex she built sold out at the opening.


In 2014, she founded a second construction company.


Because of her success, Zhang was awarded the title of National Model Worker and National March 8th Red-Banner Pacesetter.


When she stepped into the Great Hall of the People in Beijing for the first time to accept the honor, she was moved to tears. "For the country to give me such an honor is an affirmation of my whole life. I shall use part of my money to repay society," she said.


"Helping one more child to get education and save one more life is my starting point of engaging in public welfare," Zhang said.


To prevent impoverished students from dropping out of school, Zhang actively participated in the Spring Buds Program initiated by the local women's federation, which funds 30 impoverished college students every year and encourages them to change their fate by studying.


So far, the program has helped nearly 60 local students realize their college dreams.


Zhang also took the lead in establishing Anhai Hospital Life Care Fund and Anhai Xingsheng Community Charitable Fund to help even more people.


After serving as the president of the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Jinjiang, Zhang and other women entrepreneurs have worked together to help poor citizens.


All the members have donated over 30 million yuan in total so far, among which 2 million yuan has been donated to establish the Jinjiang Women and Children Love Fund.


Wu Meili, Zhang's daughter-in-law, is also a striver.


Working her way from an ordinary clerk at Xingye Leather Technology Co. to the firm's vice president, Wu did not choose to settle down and enjoy a worry-free life.


Instead, she took the initiative to plunge into the reform of the family business, and helped Xingye become the first listed company in the domestic leather industry.


"To become a listed company with social responsibility, first of all, we should pay attention to sustainable development and environmental protection," Wu said.


Driven by Zhang, Wu was elected as part-time vice-chairman of Jinjiang Women's Federation and a member of the standing committee of the Jinjiang municipal committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, actively participating in women's innovation and entrepreneurship causes.


"Now, China has vigorously promoted the Belt and Road initiative, especially the connectivity of infrastructure construction which has provided major opportunities and advantages for logistics enterprises," Zhang said.


"We must uphold the concept of 'hard work, exploration, pragmatism and integrity' to open up a new world," Wu added.


(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)


http://www.womenofchina.cn/womenofchina/html1/people/everyday/1810/5796-1.htm

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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