Twenty-six percent of Chinese students from higher education institutions are eager to start businesses in 2017, marking an eight percentage points rise from the previous year, according to a survey.

The survey, jointly conducted by over 30 higher education institutions, enterprises and social organizations, covered 52 higher education institutions across the country.

According to the survey, 22 percent of the respondents choose to start businesses in accommodation and catering industry and 19.3 percent prefer the e-commerce sector.

Motivation behind entrepreneurship varies, 31 percent of them want to pursue a free and independent job and lifestyle, 18 percent want to realize their dreams and 10 percent are seeking sound business opportunities, the survey showed.

More than 50 percent of them said funds shortage remains the biggest challenge in entrepreneurship, the survey said.

The survey said higher education institutions should provide more opportunities to foster entrepreneurship and help develop a financing system for students to start their own business.