Faced with a tough job market, fresh graduates are dreaming of running their own businesses instead.
But a recent survey has showed that such ambitions lack the required support and remain just that - dreams.
The Shanghai Municipal Employment Promotion Center poll of 1,276 graduates in several universities and colleges in the city, released last Friday, showed 59.78 percent of respondents considered the possibility of setting up a company or at least a small store.
"But they just stop at the 'thinking' stage," it stated.
Respondents put the top reasons for not going it alone down to a shortage of investment and a lack of business opportunity.
They also listed lack of business experience and social networks, the need for advanced study and objections from family members as factors that stood in their way.
More than 90 percent of the interviewees said they would rather take up a job after graduating and then consider starting their own business two or three years down the road.
Guo Bing, a senior student in Shanghai International Studies University majoring in English, decided he wanted to be his own boss last year.
But he is looking for a job first. "If I fail to find a satisfying job, I would like to establish a company in exhibition services," Guo said.
The Shanghai native has some relatives working in a local printing plant.
With their help, Guo hopes to produce exhibition brochures at a relatively low price. He is also confident that his English language skills can help him do well in the industry.
"Social networking is an important factor leading to business success," Guo said.
Guo said that the shortage of graduate jobs is the main reason driving more university students to set up a business right after their graduation.
The parents of university graduates are more willing to help their children start up alone, the survey showed.
"Once you win the support of your family, you have won half the battle," Guo added.