After a week of global voting and over 50,000 votes cast, Fushun Zhu has been elected as the YBI Entrepreneur of the Year People’s Choice 2012. Fushun, along with a representative of Youth Business China, will travel to London in October to receive his award.
Despite facing professional challenges and personal hardship, Fushun Zhu has created a thriving business. His hugely successful egg farm is producing ten million eggs annually and employing 32 people full time. What makes the business unique is the kind of eggs they sell. Fushun bred an entirely new type of chicken by cross-breeding a common Phasianus Colchicus bird with a local breed known for its highly nutritious green eggs.
Today the firm is growing quickly and is in the middle of a long term growth plan that will fund a regional production base. The Business aims to expand into all major Chinese cities and, in five to eight years, the lucrative European market.
Fushun’s business was generating small returns for many years, until he had a moment of entrepreneurial inspiration after a road accident. Fushun was in hospital recovering after he was in a serious car crash, when he saw that the patients around him were all being brought eggs by their visitors. ”It suddenly inspired me to sell my products with fruit around the local hospitals. On the third day after the accident, I struggled back to work and try to persuade the shop owners around the hospitals to help me to sell my products in their shops. It turns out the eggs sold out quickly and more were welcomed, which is a great turning point and opportunity for me.” This was the decision took his business to the next level, and expansion followed quickly.
For Fushun the next step was to develop the breeding side of his business. He lobbied the government for support with the costs, and was directed to YBI member Youth Business China who provided his with a loan and access to an expert mentor.
“My mentor treats me as student and son and offered me a lot of advice on strategy, management, fiscal, quality control and even daily operations. He also provides my staff with an opportunity to receive training from his company.”
Fushun is deeply committed to giving back to his community, and his social activities are too many to list. He fully funds the education of two students from the area of the Wenchuan earthquake.
In addition, after the disaster Fushun built a production facility in the area and invited farmers who had lost their jobs to take some chicks from his farm in order to become self sufficient again. He uses his buying power to give the farmers a fair egg price, meaning they can rely on regular income and begin to rebuild their lives. In 2010, the business donated 32,000 eggs and chickens to a local charity for disabled children and today its donated eggs and milk on a daily basis for 100 poor families in Chengdu.
Fushun is the embodiment of the values of a social entrepreneur and a deserving winner of the People’s Choice award 2012.
Youth Business International is a sister charity of The Prince’s Trust and is dedicated to growing entrepreneurship opportunities for young people around the world. In October this year it is hosting the Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards in London www.youthbusiness.org which is the largest global event of its kind.