The Great Island Chinese Chamber of Commerce is being pitched as a solution to help new immigrant entrepreneurs succeed.
A new business organization is in the works, according to founder Bright Zhang, who says it’s been a challenge for new entrepreneurs from China to adapt to the local business environment.
There are differences in services in Nanaimo compared to in places in China, for example, where higher competition has led to fast service and low costs. Here, entrepreneurs have to make an appointment, the process is slower than expected and the cost is higher, he said, adding language can also be a barrier.
The new group could provide members with a recommended service provider list and act like a bridge between the Chinese community and the rest of society, so people know more about Chinese culture and business while the Chinese get help to better adapt to local business environment.
Kim Smythe, chief executive officer of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, said he understands it would be an association and he agrees with the idea. He wants to offer workshops for immigrant entrepreneurs and invite them into the chamber world but he also wondered how he was going to communicate with them. This would see entrepreneurs represented by a board.
He’s enthralled with the possibilities of better integration for Chinese business people with a community that’s more welcoming, he said.
“Like how can we build relations from both sides?”
For more stories in this series: