Creating local policy innovations and extending successful local experiences to other localities and provinces or even up to the national level has been a distinctive feature of China's policymaking process during the reform period. However, insufficient academic effort has been spent on what promotes or hinders policy innovations at the local level and their dissemination. This article contributes by exploring the role of policy entrepreneurs in fostering local policy innovations, using the housing monetarisation reform experience in Guizhou province as an example. In this article I argue that the key decision-maker, being a policy entrepreneur, plays a central role in fostering policy innovations. An important aspect of the policy entrepreneur's strategy is to promote civic engagement and to strengthen legitimacy by leveraging the popularity of innovative policy. By highlighting the role of the policy entrepreneur as a policy innovator and the strategy of involving civic engagement, this research contributes to the literature in both the policy entrepreneurship and local politics development in China.