People used to call China the copycat nation, but now China is known for its innovation and entrepreneurship — from e-commerce to the sharing economy, from Alibaba to Mobike.

Unlike their parents, who followed the orthodox path of holding an “iron rice bowl” (铁饭碗; a phrase meaning guaranteed employment) in a State-owned company for their entire life, the aspirational generation of young Chinese people today are chasing the exciting “startup” culture, and trying to build something of their own. They keep challenging themselves, and are driven to create products and services that will “make the world a better place” (as they say in the TV show Silicon Valley).

In this episode, we talk to Ailin Guo, a young, intelligent and passionate woman who describes herself as a serial entrepreneur. 

Six years ago, as a rising star in a multinational company, Ailin left her job and started her adventure with her then boyfriend as entrepreneurs. Many people were surprised by her decision, as it doesn’t seem to be a path that a straight-A student with a bright future in the corporate world would take. Ailin shared why she chose this path, and her stories on what it takes to be an entrepreneur in China.

Ailin has now emigrated to the United States, but continues to pursue her entrepreneurial dream. Supported by her work and life partner, William, she is in talks with venture capital firms to fund their next big idea.

Previous episodes of the Wǒ Men podcast can be found here.

Have thoughts or feedback to share? Want to join the discussion? Write to Yajun and Jingjing at womenpodcast@outlook.com.

Soundcloud embed (if you’re in China, turn your VPN on):