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Women's startups bloom in Xinjiang
2017-09-29 source:Xinhua
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Seamstresses at work at a sewing factory in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua]

Gulnisa Ali's five-person tailor shop has grown into a company with more than 50 employees.

"My shop expanded from 30 square meters to some 500 square meters in just five years. That's an incredible change," said Ali, manager of a company that produces ethnic costumes in Turpan, a tourism-driven city in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Born into a poor rural family of six children, Ali got her sewing skills from her mother. Her grandmother and great-grandmother were also skilled seamstresses.

Ali moved to Turpan in 1996 and started her own business. Monthly turnover was 3,000 (about $462) to 4,000 yuan before 2013. Now it is more than 100,000 yuan with a net profit of some 30,000 yuan.

"I was adept at needlework, but I had no idea about running a company ... I didn't have a proper place and assistants to do that," said the 50-year-old Ali.

Business took off after local officials provided her a free workshop and helped her recruit apprentices.

As a Xinhua reporter walked around one of her workshops, some 10 young women deftly operated electric sewing machines. Gorgeous ethnic costumes hung on the walls, neat and tidy.