3,000 recent college graduates in California will get entrepreneurial training provided by Alibaba.com through a new partnership the website has made with the state. Aliababa.com is currently one of the largest online e-commerce companies and will show students how to start their own businesses and become successful knowledge workers. The partnership will be called the Emerging Entrepreneur Initiative.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the new initiative on Saturday during his trade mission trip in Asia. He hopes that the program will help support growth in small businesses which fuel the economy. Under the terms of the partnership Alibaba.com will invest $3 million in the program as well as providing a learning kit to students which will include course material and business tools from the website. Each selected student will receive $1000 in tools and education. The initiative will be offered in 2011 in conjunction with 15 state-owned colleges and universities throughout California.
Alibaba.com says that California is the company’s largest buyer market. In the past few months, Ailibaba.com made two major acquisitions of established California e-commerce companies (Vendio and Auctiva), increasing its employment base in the state from 25 to nearly 200. The company also launched AliExpress in the US, in April which allows users to buy goods online directly from exporters in small quantities. The partnership with California will likely increase brand awareness for both AliExpress and Alibaba.com. During a conference this weekend, CEO David Wei promised to indirectly create 100,000 jobs over three years in the U.S. an ambitious claim that seems to fit into a larger strategy of gaining more traction the US market.
“As the 8th largest economy in the world and the home of Hollywood and Silicon Valley, California has long been a cultural and economic pace-setter for America and the world. With the launch of this program, we hope to stimulate job creation and continue the state’s tradition as the cradle of some of the world’s greatest innovations,” said Governor Schwarzenegger.