Movers in backland

By SATARUPA BHATTACHARJYA, YANG JUN and DONG XIANWU ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-11-05 09:07:58

Movers in backland

Luo Yongquan, an investor in Guiyang, says he wants to raise the province's cultural profile. [Photo by Yang Jun/China Daily]

5 Cultural investor

"Garden of life" is the tagline of an advertisement for a burial ground that Luo Yongquan, 47, once came up with. His other memorable campaign was for a weight-loss formula. They were the early clients for an agency he started in 1997. And to find the right advertisers, he had to make many rounds of local media offices in Guiyang.

"It was cheaper to start in a creative industry," Luo recalls.

Until then the native of Zunyi, a prefecture-level city in northern Guizhou that played a key role in the evolution of the Communist Party of China, used to work for a government department. He came to the provincial capital because his wife was here. Chalsea, his company of two people, has since become an operation of more than 100-the fancy name adding to its allure.

Other than advertising, his company has held and managed cultural events such as art exhibitions in the past two decades. In 2012, he helped the local government showcase the arts and crafts of the Miao and Dong people in the scenic city of Kaili, which is home to the ethnic groups.

Luo is now looking to invest 300 million yuan in a "culture park" in Guiyang, the total budget for which is 500 million. He expects the local government to pay the share. In 2015, his company's income was 120 million yuan. This has only boosted Luo's image as an investor.

"I want to raise the province's cultural profile," he says.

While individual effort is important to make or mar a business, he says friendly policies help.

As the city's infrastructure improves, a rise in ventures is expected. Companies that make less than 30,000 yuan a month aren't required to pay value-added tax, plus banks give startups loans at low interests, says Xiong Lijuan, president, Guiyang Yunyan Entrepreneurs Association.

Her lobby group of 268 members, trains businesspeople and helps them get government loans. Xiong, who ran a carwash company in the past, set this up in 2013.

Yang Jun and Dong Xianwu contributed to this story.

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