The FINANCIAL -- An Aston University student has been crowned Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the UK-wide Confederation of Chinese Business Awards.
Xiaohao Dai, a full-time MBA student at Aston Business School, received the award at a gala dinner hosted at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair, London. She was joined by three other Aston students who were nominated in the same category – Jingjing Wang, Jing Shang and Yong Zhang.
Xiaohao won the award for her business plan launching an app that connects Chinese and English language learners together according to their level of ability. The app follows the ‘freemium’ model, where connecting with other non-professional learners is free but users can also purchase time with a professional language tutor if they want to progress further.
Nominees were all invited to submit a business proposal which generates benefits for both the UK and China. Jingjing proposed a business that helps UK healthcare brands enter the Chinese market, Jing suggested a start-up teaching British high etiquette to Chinese customers, and Yong submitted a plan to create a service company that helps develop cooperation in innovation and R&D, according to Aston University.
The ceremony was set up to recognise organisations and individuals who have made great contributions towards business cooperation between the UK and China. The Confederation of Chinese Business UK is the oldest Chinese business association in the UK, existing to facilitate investments and business cooperation between China and the UK.
Xiaohao Dai said: “I had confidence in my business plan, but I never expected to win. This has really inspired me and made me realise what I can achieve through my MBA studies. The award has really motivated me to turn this business plan into a reality and to make a contribution to both UK and Chinese society.”
Jingjing Wang said: “The MBA has taught me a lot in a short space of time and while I only started in September I already feel it has changed my business mind-set. It has given me the ability to strengthen my ideas and the confidence to apply for these awards.
Professor George Feiger, Executive Dean of Aston Business School, said: “We are proud to have these talented students win this award. We hope that the recognition motivates them to pursue a successful entrepreneurial career.”