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Rupert Hoogewerf on Unicorns, Entrepreneurs and Wealth

We recently had the privilege of listening to the inaugural talk of Professor in Practice, Rupert Hoogewerf. The Professor in Practice initiative demonstrates our strong business connectivity and brings the insights of the business world to our students.

Alumnus Rupert Hoogewerf, Founder and Lead Researcher of the Hurun Report, came to share his insights with our current MSc Management (International Business) students and Durham MBA candidates. Rupert’s talk was delivered alongside Professor Rob Lynes (Associate PVC Global) and Dr Karena Yan (Associate Professor of Marketing), and considered the success of female entrepreneurs in China and the rise of Unicorns (billion-dollar businesses) across the globe.

Unicorn Hunter
Professor Lynes and Dr Yan asked a number of questions which allowed Rupert to introduce his background and experience to the audience before then elaborating on his recent research findings relating to the rise of Unicorns in China, the USA and Europe.

Female entrepreneurship in China
Rupert also spoke about the success of the female entrepreneur in China. His research has identified that from the top 100 self-made female entrepreneurs, 70 are from China. Together with the USA and the UK, China provides 90% of the top female entrepreneurs in the world.

Rupert attributes China’s dominance to the greater opportunity Chinese women have and the greater gender parity in Chinese business compared to the west. This in turn comes from economic, social and historical considerations unique to China’s modern era. The students and guests also learnt about the phenomenal growth and wealth creation that China has experienced in the past 20 years.

The top 3 secrets to success
Rupert highlighted the traits he has identified in successful Chinese entrepreneurs. His top 3 secrets to success are:

1. being innovative with a new technology or business model

2. the ability to bring together varied resources e.g. capital, talent 

3. speed because “unless you go really fast you’ll be overtaken by someone else.”

More information