The city’s Jade Buddha Temple launched an entrepreneurship competition in Putuo District over the weekend to encourage and sponsor local graduates to start innovative businesses.
The competition named "Juequn Cup" includes a public evaluation on startup projects, training sessions for young entrepreneurs and exhibitions of outstanding projects.
"The competition is expected to find more talented entrepreneurs and contribute to the nationwide 'mass innovation and entrepreneurship' campaign," said Lu Sheng'ang, deputy director with the human resources and social security bureau of Putuo.
A renowned venture investor Jufeng donated 260,000 yuan (US$40,687) to sponsor winning startup projects to the competition. It also announced to invest 2 million yuan to a costume startup firm named Coolalpaca, which won the competition in 2016.
The Buddhist temple has become a major sponsor for local young entrepreneurs setting up startups. It had sponsored local university graduates to set up 131 startup enterprises via an 11-million yuan sponsorship since 2009.
Among those that got sponsored was the local online food delivery firm Ele.me, which has since expanded its services to some 1,000 Chinese cities.
Among other startups sponsored by the temple, 88 percent have managed to survive for more than three years. The percentage was higher than other city startup foundations.
The temple, home to two jade Buddhas, donated 10 million yuan to set up the Juequn University Entrepreneurship Foundation in 2009 to support local graduates, especially those from poor families, to set up companies.