Olivia Bi

Country / region

Olivia studied our Entrepreneurship, Finance and Innovation MSc programme.

Olivia currently works at Billion Store Project, commercialising and incubating creative cultural IPs.

Why did you choose Loughborough University London/ your programme in particular?

I had already worked in China for four years before I started my master's programme. My previous job was stable, but I didn't feel I was being challenged. I felt like I had reached a plateau in my career, therefore I decided to take a new and innovative path. I was attracted to the Entrepreneurship, Finance and Innovation MSc at Loughborough University London because of the innovative curriculum modules.

How has Loughborough University London inspired you and helped you to progress in your career?

Loughborough University London has given me the opportunity to learn and understand more about innovation and entrepreneurship. I have also had the chance to speak face-to-face with many entrepreneurs through class and and other activities. I really value these opportunities to learn about innovation and entrepreneurship.

Tell us about your most memorable experience on your course.

For me, the most memorable experience is taking part in the E-challenge Entrepreneurship Competition. I was already thinking about starting a business on cultural and creative peripheral products at that time. Ben Cole, who I am greatly thankful too, suggested that I should participate in the competition as it would be a good opportunity to work on my business plan. The entire process lasted for several months, with Ben and Tim giving us training every week. For the competition, my friend and I wrote a business plan and learned a pitch. Throughout the process, we had the opportunity to modify our business plan to continue to improve and develop.

Where do you currently work?

I currently work at Billion Store Project in Shanghai, China.

What do you love the most about your current job?

I am especially proud that I can help freelance illustrators in branding their work. There are many freelance illustrators in China now however most of them are lacking in supporting services like supply chain, branding and channels for cooperation. My background in design and business could help them which is really fulfilling. For example, I am working on two IP symbols currently. One is called Draw a Duck, a duck image, and the other one is called Brother Mao, an animal imitating people in working place. The two IP symbols have a series of emoticons and they are now on the WeChat emoji store. Since their release in 2018, they have been downloaded over a million times.

Currently, I am working for illustrators. In the past six months, we have produced stickers, canvas bags, headphone shells, T-shirts/mugs, fridge magnets, and other peripheral products related to the IP symbols. With my help, the illustrators participated in the Nanjing Art Book Fair to release their products for the first time, which had positive response. In the future, we are hoping take these products to more exhibitions to increase their exposure. At present, we are discussing the cooperation with brands of consumer goods.