Calvin is a seasoned entrepreneur from America now based in Shanghai. Calvin worked on Wall Street in Debt Capital Markets for a couple of big European banks before deciding to get into technology start-ups in New York, Silicon Valley and then China. Calvin is most famous for being a founder of Qifang.com, an online crowd-funded company that helps Chinese students, pay for school tuition through loans or donations. He has met high profile world leaders such as former US President, Bill Clinton and the Father of Micro-finance himself, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Muhammad Yunus, highlighting his important efforts in social entrepreneurship.  I interviewed Calvin about an array of things which I think many foreign entrepreneurs interested in China will find intriguing.

Getting into entrepreneurship

Calvin got into entrepreneurship because his parents were small business owners in Michigan. But more than that, Calvin felt drawn to entrepreneurship because it is the “natural state for most people since we want to feel a sense of impact and make a difference and start-ups and entrepreneurship’s is the maximum effect of that.” He recognises that although many people think about doing business and want to do it, people feel constrained by “financial pressure and the need for security so it’s not for everyone.” Overcoming that pressure allowed Calvin to walk away from a lucrative career on Wall Street to pursue entrepreneurship because he realized early on how to operate around risk, analyse the opportunities and pull the trigger.

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Jason Lim

Jason is an Australian born Chinese living in Beijing, specializing in entrepreneurship, start-ups and the investment eco-system in China, especially in the tech and social area.