Alibaba kicked off its seventh Maker Festival in Guangdong China, the province with the most Taobao stores, this Wednesday. Founded in 2016, the Maker Festival has grown to become Alibaba‘s flagship event showcasing the latest innovation by Chinese entrepreneurs and emerging consumption trends in the country. This year’s seven-day event brings together established brands and budding entrepreneurs in a day-long entrepreneurship forum on August 24, followed by a showcase of trailblazing creations from about 100 merchants in an offline exhibition from August 26 to 30.
“Be service-oriented, stay true to your original aspiration, be optimistic, smile every day, and search for like-minded partners,” said Trudy Dai, Alibaba‘s President of Core Domestic E-commerce during a speech at the Maker Festival when she shared her own entrepreneur experience with more than 1,000 attending entrepreneurs: dream-driven, user-oriented, optimistic, firm and persevering. “The Maker Festival is not only an annual showcase of dazzling creativity. I hope it will become a platform for entrepreneurs to share and learn from each other,” Dai added.
During the opening ceremony, the company also announced new support measures for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on its e-commerce platforms Taobao and Tmall. For the Maker Festival 2022, Taobao and Tmall will double down on merchant support measures which will center around optimizing onboarding experience and reducing operating costs, including customized assistance for merchants of different sizes and stages. Taobao and Tmall will also broaden free access to analytical tools to help improve merchants’ operational efficiency.
Notably for new Taobao merchants, the platform will provide more foundational training such as courses on store opening and lectures specific to new merchants targeted at helping green hands start their business from scratch. For Tmall merchants in emerging niche market segments, the platform will provide customized services for developing innovative products to help them gain traction.
Taobao has always been a fertile ground for young people in China to turn their ideas and entrepreneurial spirit into operating businesses. On Taobao, young entrepreneurs born in the 1990s and after account for nearly half of total merchants. With this in mind, the platform is launching a series of new programs to assist young entrepreneurs in starting their businesses, especially for fresh university graduates. Earlier this month, Taobao introduced dedicated entrepreneurial support programs for college students.
“The Maker Festival is not only an occasion to spotlight the latest innovation in China but more importantly, the dynamic entrepreneurial spirit driving the country’s development. We are grateful for the trust of SMEs and entrepreneurs who have chosen us as their partners. We will continue to introduce new measures to support their growth,” said Wenfei Han, General Manager of Taobao and Tmall Marketing.
Alibaba has always been a champion for small businesses and entrepreneurs. During the last fiscal year, Taobao and Tmall waived fees on certain platform tools and services to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. On Taobao and Tmall, more than 20,000 newly joined merchants generated over 1 million yuan ($145,730) in GMV during the second quarter of 2022.