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Intrepid YNU graduate persists with helping rural projects

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

He Yongqun, a woman from the Naxi ethnic group with a master's degree from Yunnan University (YNU) – located in Kunming city, capital of Southwest China's Yunnan province – led an entrepreneurial team that won a gold medal in the 7th China College Students' "Internet+" Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition held on Oct 12-15 last year.


He Yongqun (left), an alumnus of YNU, gives a presentation on her entrepreneurial achievements at the 7th China College Students' "Internet+" Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition. [Photo/]

Indelible entrepreneurial spirit

Due to family changes, He took a break from her studies at YNU in 2015 and returned to her hometown to set up a company specializing in porcupine breeding, sales and processing. As the benefits expanded, she led more and more villagers to earn money together.

Her story was also made into the first Chinese youth innovation and entrepreneurship inspirational film.

However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the porcupine was added to the list of wild animals prohibited to be bred and traded. Despite the government compensation payments, losses caused by stagnant sales became a serious challenge for He.

She took on more than 8 million yuan ($1.26 million) in debt to make up for the losses of farmers and the related companies. In order not to disappoint the trust of the villagers, He embarked on a second business venture.

Boost for prosperity of Jinjiang town

He focused on the Jinjiang town of Shangri-La – a well-known tourist city in Yunnan – to sell high-quality agricultural products planted by poor villages.

Her project was supported by core technologies from several schools of YNU: strain breeding technology, the internet of things and edge computing technology, standardized breeding processes and feed for Chinese herbal medicine formulas.


The rural revitalization service group of YNU, which came to help He Yongqun, poses for a group photo at Xingwen village, administered by Jinjiang town. [Photo/]

Additionally, the project won a three-year order of 10 million yuan from Shanghai in East China.

Dreams of rural revitalization

Since the start of the project, graduate and undergraduate students from YNU have joined the team. He led a five-month field survey across six provinces, seven cities and 10 districts and counties.

Lacking transportation, 20 team members were crammed into a pickup truck. Members of the team at one point were even pecked by geese and their pants and shoes became smeared with geese droppings in villages. While developing various tourism products, some members of the team were unlucky enough to fall into water and cut their hands while making bamboo rafts.


Members of He's team make bamboo rafts to develop tourism products. [Photo/]

During their research, members were tired but satisfied, because they found new development opportunities for 3,411 villagers. The team developed a small WeChat mall, obtained a large number of orders, and signed a contract with cold chain logistics distribution.

He said she would continue her work in the ethnic border areas and help the rural economy there to prosper.

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Copyright © Yunnan University.
All rights reserved. Presented by China Daily. 滇ICP备12004993号-2