A Tibetan graduate's startup success
LHASA, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- At a new restaurant in Lhasa, Sidar greets diners, who may well take her for a waitress. Sidar, 23, is actually the proprietor.
Majoring in aquatic environment protection, Sidar graduated from Xiamen Ocean Vocational College last year.
"Even when I was in middle school I was always thinking about setting up a business," she said. Her parents are herders near Lake Namtso, north of Lhasa, capital of Tibet.
"At first, I wanted to set up a training center, the kind of thing that Tibet needs, but after consulting government departments, I discovered that a teaching qualification was required to set up such an institution. So I decided to open a restaurant."
She first planned to open her eatery downtown, but she didn't have enough money and was forced to change her ideas.
In November, she took out a small loan and borrowed money from her relatives and friends. At the same time, she applied for a grant for college graduates from the region's labor and employment bureau. She got a business license and rented her current premises.
The local government offers graduates one-off payments from 50,000 yuan (8,000 U.S. dollars) to 200,000 yuan, along with subsidies to help with rent, water and electricity.
Sidar hired staff and her parents came to help.
Tibetans constitute the majority of her customers and she takes home around 7,000 yuan per month.
At the end of February, Sidar will obtain her 50,000-yuan startup grant.
"I plan to spend the money on kitchen equipment and expanding my menu," she said.