HERBusiness, HERStories

5 Inspiring Female Foodpreneurs in Singapore

Singapore is a foodie’s dream with something to offer everyone.
Here are 5 women who have left their mark on the local food scene.
5 Inspiring Female Foodpreneurs in Singapore (1) (1)
1. Janice Wong
Regarded as Singapore’s Dessert Queen, Janice Wong embodies the very traits that make a successful entrepreneur. Despite the potential for a promising career in the banking industry, the economics graduate decided to follow her passion for culinary art by enrolling herself into a pastry program at the famed Le Cordon Bleu, Paris. It was her passion backed by grit and determination that allowed her to open 2am:dessertbar in 2007, and later an eponymous dessert restaurant, JANICE WONG, in 2014. Today, she goes beyond running her businesses with 2am:lab, a collaboration that acts as a test kitchen and think tank for aspiring chefs, paving the way for more individuals to enter the food industry.
2. Jamie Teo
What started out as a hobby became the inspiration behind Twelve Cupcakes, a chain selling cupcakes across Singapore. For the former Miss Singapore Universe and Mediacorp actress Jaime Teo, her love for baking is what pushes her to continuously innovate – since the start of the company, she has launched new flavours of cupcakes and various other desserts. This, coupled with ensuring consistent quality across all cakes produced has allowed the company to expand beyond its first outlet at United Square. Today, Twelve Cupcakes has its presence established across Asia, in regions such as Taiwan and Indonesia, and have their own catering business as well.
3. Lyn Lee
For the former lawyer, it was the dissatisfaction felt with her 9-5 job and an inability to find a good chocolate cake that drove her to come up with the Awfully Chocolate franchise. Where other businesses will rush to expand into overseas markets, she and her team adopted a more cautious approach, investing only what they could afford and expanding slowly only after careful consideration. She is fully aware of the significant barriers that deter more Singaporeans from becoming entrepreneurs and hence is especially keen to support her own staff who are similarly inclined. Ultimately, she believes that while ensuring profitability is necessary to maintain one’s business, it is more important to truly enjoy what your business is about.
4. Vannessa Lee
Vannessa Lee is a proponent for the age-old adage that age is but a number. Together with her brother, she has managed to open and sustain 2 F&B stores before the age of 25. The success of her venture rides upon her understanding of the power of social media marketing – on the opening day of A Poke Theory, her outlet sold out within the first two hours, thanks to snaking queues that had formed as a result of her teaser campaign aimed at building hype around the product. While the F&B industry is known to be competitive, Vannessa and her team are currently working on the possibility of expansion through franchising both locally and overseas.
5. Lena Sim
A tough childhood was no deterrent for Lena Sim, who juggled as many as 3 part-time jobs while in school to fund her expenses. It is this same tenacity and dedication that allowed her to convince the owners of Azabu, a Japanese dessert shop, to let her set up their franchises overseas. Armed with the experience in setting up and managing these outlets, she has since gone on to launch her own food chain of restaurants, aptly named the Ministry of Food (MOF). Lena exemplifies how one can utilize her past experience when becoming an entrepreneur – her previous stint as a trader with Morgan Stanley proved advantageous when coming up with business plans for both Azabu and MOF. Today, MOF spans different cuisines, expanding beyond its initial repertoire in Japanese fare.

To meet similar entrepreneurs and business owners, purchase tickets to our annual H.E.R Asia Summit on 26th September 2018 here.

HERStories

My Big Why – Opening Address at H.E.R Asia

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It was an exciting journey for me in 2017 with multiple milestones, from giving birth to a baby boy to curating H.E.R Entrepreneur. I would like to share with you my story and the big WHY that motivates me to create a platform like H.E.R Asia to inspire, educate and empower aspiring women entrepreneurs who are transitioning in their career or in family-planning.

Here’s my opening speech at the recent H.E.R Asia that was held on the 1 November 2017 at the Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre,

Who am I?

I started off as a typical girl who was very sure that I wanted to become a scientist where I could improve and save lives. I studied hard and even took up a job in stem cell research. I even thought that the routine of killing mice for their embryos to experiment with various drugs could eventually lead me to saving lives.
But the reality is, after countless repeated experiments, we are not even close to clinical phase 1. Reality sets in and I realised how much further I was in impacting anyone’s life. As you can see here, I face bottles of chemicals, mice and machines daily. And I asked myself, do I wanna do this for the rest of my life?

I pursued my studies in other areas & joined the B2B media industry.  I greatly benefited from my interaction with decision makers who are investors and industry leaders from multiple trades from various sized companies in the Asia Pacific region. I led and managed teams and was traveling quite a bit. It was fast-paced, exciting but had very little time with anything outside of work.

But as life would have it, I decided to get married & start a family.  Then comes the constant dilemma a woman will face at this stage, career or work, what’s my definition of fulfilment now? All the frequent travels, super tight deadlines, & very little time with my family, will that make me and my family happy? But at the same time, I was contemplating; do I want to relinquish my leadership role?

I decided to take the step to steer my own ship so that I could achieve a good balance. Opportunity came knocking amidst the booming start-up scene and my skills were sought by a tech start up. That’s when I found my niche consulting for companies and subsequently over the years, I provided trainings for institutions, corporates and individuals.

So who am I, really? I am just like any one of you, going through all these different phases in life: The dream to be someone important, the lure of doing well in our careers and then juggling kids, parents, work and other priorities in our lives.
So Why HER Asia?
I’d like to cover 3 important components in my life story that complements today’s theme:
Entrepreneurship
As a child, I witnessed my mum, who was a housewife with low education. She transformed to becoming an entrepreneur to supplement the household income so that her 3 children could receive good education

This is what we call Necessity Entrepreneurship, where people venture into business due to a necessity to provide for the family, which is still prevalent in developing regions.

She had no experience, no mentor, and no source to be educated in business literacy.

In the 80s, she was running a provision shop, converted it into a coffee shop and also had a side-line beauty business. Because I was so little then, she had to ferry me to and from work, to watch over me while working.

With no experience in business, she had to learn how to manage inventory, finances, and manpower, and because there was no courier service back then, she had to personally deliver her beauty products directly to her customers, sometimes with me in tow.
I remembered asking her once, “Mum, why can’t you just get your staff to deliver your products, so that you don’t have to run around?”
She said “I would prefer to hand my products to customers personally & have a good chat with them.”
Her customers stayed long with her and she taught me the importance of face-to-face interaction & relationship building, which is getting less common these days with businesses going online.
Despite her busy schedule, she finds time to coach me in studies & make time to prepare dinner for the family. It is the communal bonding during dinner time that helps her maintain good relationships with everyone in the family. This leads to the next point, relationship..
Relationship
After giving birth to a baby boy this year, it seems that every decision I make revolves around family, my boy… the same goes for business decisions: Can I find a way to work from home instead of the office? How can I negotiate with the key stakeholders in the family when I need to be out for long meetings, or if I need to travel?
A sustainable biz would not be plausible if not for the good relationship we build with the people around us, be it in biz or at home. In successful relationships, there is always a balance between accommodating and one party taking the lead at critical junctures. This leads me to my last point..
Leadership
Let me share some interesting insights I gathered though my course of work.
When I was consulting for a tech start up, I noticed an interesting trend. When I was pitching in front of investors, the panel was mainly men, when we were competing in hackathons, majority of the presenters were males. When we went to meetings with prospects, the IT teams had very few female representation as well. I was thinking, where are the ladies?
But when I was conducting a Skillsfuture course on Steps to Starting a Business, the flip side was, 90% of the attendees were women. Ahh, maybe that’s where all the women have gone to…
They were diligent at learning, but very fearful of applying. They were hesitant to start a biz, fearing failure, citing that entrepreneurship is challenging for women with families, or that entrepreneurship should be for their husbands, & many other reasons.
Due to their self-limiting beliefs, there was no continuity in the learning process. What a waste!
We are fortunate to be in a region which has a conducive environment. Singapore is ranked no. 5 where women entrepreneurship is largely driven by strong enabling conditions.
http://www.masterintelligence.com/content/intelligence/en/research/reports/2016/womens-entreprenurial-index-2016.html
As you can see here, there are 2 spectrum of entrepreneurship:
Necessity: Like my mother’s time or now in developing regions, people venture into entrepreneurship due to necessity to supplement the families’ income.
Opportunity: people venture into business due to presence of various government schemes, access to resources and education.
Though we are in a conducive environment, something is lacking.
There’s still inertia for aspiring women entrepreneurs with families or who are transitioning, to start a biz, and if they were to start something small, they don’t know how to scale…

Research has shown that the possible deterrents to entrepreneurship for women could be:

  • The lack of social capital and support (networking opp)
  • Their responsiveness to government support
  • Internal barriers like self confidence
  • Cultural biasness
It’s clear that challenges that woman leaders or entrepreneurs face are different & because we are more self-conscious & risk averse, when any of the deterrents are present, there’s a tendency to shun away.
Because of this gap, it’s important that these issues are addressed, and thus the purpose of having today’s gathering, to provide a platform for aspiring women entrepreneurs with families, those who are transitioning in life, or those who are looking at growing their business to be inspired, educated and empowered.
Oprah Winfrey once said,” Thoughts are the greatest vehicle to change power and success in the world” So we can be leaders, if we choose to. & take action.
It could have been easy for me to use my kid as an excuse and wait till the stars are aligned before thinking about entrepreneurship. But I choose not to. I would rather choose to think of my baby boy as the impetus to drive the business because being financially independent is important to me.
Also, the sudden demise of my late father, made me resonate with this quote very much, “if not now, when, if not you, who?”
The 3 elements make up the holistic well-being of a balanced woman entrepreneur/leader, & that is the main focus of HER Asia: To harness the power of women in entrepreneurship, leadership, and relationship.
I have moved on from killing mice and hopefully today we could inspire some lives.
H.E.R Asia 2017
We have convened so many successful entrepreneurs and leaders and 1 day, you will get to learn and meet with 26 of them from multiple trades, from retail, F&B, funeral service, pest mgmt to innovation and technology. They come from start-ups, SMEs to MNCs, to share insights on leadership, business strategies, funding & capital raising, innovation and technology, and female talent. A big thank you to all of the speakers here who made this possible.
We would like to express great thanks to our sponsors and exhibitors: UOB, PWG Asia, Funding Bridge, Lara ’J, Hicomi, Noel, and all of our supporting partners and also the attendees for your presence.
In case you are not aware, part of our proceeds will be donated to World Vision to empower girls as agents of change in India.  Thank you so much for supporting this cause.

Written by Renee Tan, Founder & MD of Rendeur, H.E.R Entrepreneur. Renee inspires, educate and empower aspiring women entrepreneurs, besides educating corporate professionals in excelling in functional skill sets such as sales, marketing, customer service, exhibition strategies and communication skills.




 

 

 

HERLifestyle, HERStories

From Killing Mice to Inspiring Lives

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Renee Tan, Founder and Managing Director of Rendeur and H.E.R Entrepreneur

How this new mom conceived 2 babies within 1 year: Her baby boy & training agency to inspire, educate & empower women in business literacy
In 2017, the new mom gave birth to 2 babies, her bouncy baby boy and her training agency, Rendeur. During her training sessions, she has noticed that mostly women attended the course on Steps to Starting a Business and realised that women, though they hope to start a business, tend to be risk averse as they do not know where to seek advice from and how to start.
This was precisely what this mother of one faced in her journey. As a child, she witnessed her entrepreneurial mom overcome challenges with limited access to education and face rapid changes in this modernizing world while trying to ensure her children could have a proper education. At 19, she harboured ambitions of empowering people’s lives as a stem cell researcher. While going through her daily routine in a laboratory, she realised she had a flair for presenting her findings and negotiation and could impact more lives with those qualities.  Realising that there are various ways one could still achieve their dream, she decided to pursue a Double Major in Psychology and Marketing at Singapore Management University to further hone her skills and pave the way to realise her lifelong ambition.
Upon graduation, motivated by her exuberance and the desire to prove herself, she joined the media industry and dealt with MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions) activities, where she covered multiple sectors in her portfolio from Life Science, Healthcare, Mining, Power, to Private Banking, Hedge Funds and Supply Chain. She was the top sales achiever, clinching more than $1 million sales during her first year in sales while spearheading multiple roles in production, sales and management during her almost 5-year stint.
As with any other females, there comes a time where one has to balance career and family. She decided that it was time she conceive her own brainchild so that she can direct her energy and resources to her passion of empowering others. Rendeur, is a culmination of the founder’s name, or “人“ which means people and Grandeur which means highly important or greatness, and thus Rendeur means the greatness of human capital and people to create wonders.
Rendeur focuses on a few key areas of training: Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Exhibition Strategies, and Entrepreneurship for corporates and individuals. Her courses are customised and also SkillsFuture accredited. www.rendeur.com
She created a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs, HER Entrepreneur, which provides them with the platform to meet successful female entrepreneurs and learn from potential mentors. Soon, they have the opportunity to meet them up-close-and-personal through the H.E.R Asia Summit on 1 Nov 2017 at Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre, Singapore where they can interact with successful business owners and leaders such as Cheryl Wee, Founder, Cheryl W Wellness & Weight Management, Anna Gong, Founder, Perx Technologies, Wong Li-Lin, Executive Director, NEA, Clair Deevy, Head, Economic Growth Initiatives, Facebook, and many more. Find out who else will be there: www.herentrepreneur.com
Part of her proceeds will also be donated to World Vision to empower girls to be agents of change in India by providing them accessible education. She has plans to expand H.E.R Asia Summit to other regions in Asia and hold a yearly affair in Singapore for the international audience.
As businesses creates employment and sales is imperative to any business, she hopes to transfer her sales and business skill sets to her participants across Asia due to the rising need for entrepreneurship especially for the developing regions. Now, her mission is to inspire, educate and empower women across Asia in business literacy.

 


To meet Renee and other successful business leaders, register as a delegate at our H.E.R Asia Summit on 26th September 2018 here.

HERStories, HERTips

How an Investment Banker Quit Her Job to Run a Fintech Start-Up Which Facilitated US$49 Million of Fund-Raising in Its Second Year

khai lin

Image Source
Q1. Tell me about yourself Khai Lin
I’m Khai Lin Chua, Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer at Fundnel. As CFO, I’m responsible for overseeing all financial procedures and protocols that are part of the company’s day-to-day operations. As Co-Founder, I am involved in almost every aspect of the business including product, HR, legal and compliance. I possess a keen interest in all things related to business and finance, and was an investment banker at J.P. Morgan prior to starting Fundnel.
Outside of work, I’m known as a passionate animal rights activist, playing an active role in a number of cetacean conservation and research projects. I also play a mean game of football, having honed my skills through weekly games on a very competitive level. During my free time, I love traveling and experiencing new cultures, with London being my favourite city due to its innate vibrancy and diversity of its people.
Q2. What made you want to venture into this line of business?
With a deeply rooted passion for business and finance, I saw fintech as a great space to be in. Advances in technology over the past few years had contributed to a rapid paradigm shift in traditional financial and banking models, changing the way things have conventionally been done.
The fintech sector has also seen increased support from the Singapore government following the report published by the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE). The Singapore government has been quick to respond to the rapidly growing fintech scene in Singapore, putting in place the regulatory framework and a flexible sandbox structure for young fintech companies to build their business model and experiment as needed. This level of support bodes well for the continued growth of the local fintech landscape, and I certainly welcome the opportunity to be at the forefront of the transformation of the financial landscape to meet the evolving needs of businesses.
Q3. What motivated you to start a business when you had a good job then?
In my line of work then, financial intermediaries/investment banks predominantly served large companies. This was due to an inherent cost structure, which would only make financial sense to these intermediaries if there was a minimum amount of fees involved. Kelvin and I saw the potential for technology to reduce the minimum base cost and simultaneously increase efficiencies specifically for fundraising in the private capital markets, creating an opening for Fundnel to leverage an untapped market.
From the perspective of the investors’, there had been a lot of demand for increased accessibility for investment in private companies as returns in the private market were on a down trend. With both demand and supply factors aligned, my fellow-co founders and I knew that we could make a real difference in the financial ecosystem. With startups sprouting all over the region, we’re looking at a growing underserved market segment. That was really the only motivation I needed to step away from a stable, well paying job to establish Fundnel.
In 2016, The Wall Street Journal published a detailed article that summarised the evolution of investment returns for professionally managed funds over the past two decades. The chart below, taken from the article, illustrates how significant the changes have been since 1995:
SLXLM

The chart provides insights that lead to two important conclusions:

  1. Volatility is inevitable. Ultra-safe public market products like bonds no longer offer the same attractive returns as they once did before the turn of the century. Riskier asset classes now form a significant part of even institutional portfolios, and any portfolio that seeks similar returns today must remain volatile for the foreseeable future.
  2. It gets harder. Unfortunately, the activity of diversification across multiple asset classes requires deeper levels of analysis and research on the part of the investor. Add to that the burden of constant rebalancing, and it’s easy to see why some consciously allow their portfolios to slip into a tepid state of stagnancy.
​Q4. How do you differentiate your business from the others?
Fundnel is a private investment platform that offers unlisted securities in the growth and pre-IPO stage companies across industries to a qualified network of investors in the region. We’re the first fintech company in Singapore to tackle private investments, leveraging data and technology to simplify the fundraising/investment process and to grow the private investment ecosystem.
The Fundnel platform is built on financial fundamentals to address institutional and professional investors’ needs, in preparation for financial inclusion for the middle market, and encouraging them to come on board with equity investments in a meaningful manner. While other online platforms tend to function more as a trading board, Fundnel curates deals based on financial markers, business fundamentals, and an understanding of local and regional investors’ interests. Our picture of the regional investment ecosystem is augmented and validated by our collection of private company data, which gives us an aggregate view of the type and size of transactions taking place in the region.
Platforms also typically serve a public and open market; Fundnel starts each issuer’s fundraising process on the opposite end of this spectrum, where we create access for VCs, corporate funds and private equity structures to anchor growth-stage deals that are not usually on their radar, before syndicating each deal to the wider market. This allows follow on investors to leverage on the due diligence work carried out by the lead investor, whilst making placements at similar or equivalent terms.
Q5. Who are your mentors in your business venture? Did you look out for them before you started your business or they have been around nurturing you to be an entrepreneur?
I have had the good fortune of having quite a number of mentors throughout the course of my career. They are generally individuals I met over the course of my work from my banking days as well as when I started Fundnel. I have found that people are open to sharing their personal experiences and advice if you are genuinely willing to devote the time and effort to cultivate the relationship. It can be as simple as catching up over coffee from time to time.
For aspiring entrepreneurs, there are structured mentorship programmes that could be of assistance as well. For instance, I had the privilege of having Mrs Josephine Teo as my mentor when I participated in the Young Women’s Leadership Connection’s mentorship programme last year.
Q6. What are the challenges you face in running and expanding the business?
Trust and low levels of awareness are issues that have traditionally plagued the fintech industry, but this is gradually changing as Fintech becomes increasingly prevalent in daily life, seeing more exposure to the general public through use cases such as cashless payment solutions.
The support and efforts of the Singapore government has also been invaluable in changing the perception of fintech. Besides putting in place the necessary regulatory framework to enable the growth of fintech, it has also held a very successful fintech festival at the end of 2016 designed to educate the public on the finer intricacies of what fintech involves. At Fundnel, we work closely with the Monetary Association of Singapore (MAS) to ensure our product is brought to the market through a safe and through process. Through our efforts, we have received our Capital Markets Service (CMS) license from MAS in 2016 which provides our investor network with validation that due compliance is in order, allowing us to push forward with existing as well as upcoming initiatives. This is a major step for Fundnel with regards to regulations, giving confidence to the team to innovate and bring Fundnel to new heights.
We’ve also been conferred the award of “Fintech Company of the Year 2017” by The Asset, one of the region’s premier banking and finance publications. The win is a testament to the hard work of the team, and is a platform for us to further enhance our capabilities and trustworthiness to current and potential clients.
Q7. What do you look out for when hiring talent? How do you go about hiring a strong team?
The team at Fundnel could be considered something of a mixed bag, comprising a diverse team of individuals with backgrounds in private equity, marketing, entrepreneurship and design amongst others. However, we all share a common belief in the vision and mission of Fundnel, and a genuine passion in making a difference for underserved businesses.
Along with sheer determination and hard work, these are the ingredients of the secret sauce behind the team at Fundnel. Thus, our hiring efforts look towards talents that ‘walk the talk’; individuals that display a genuine passion for the job and a strong work ethic that can collectively strengthen the team and the organisation’s DNA.
Q8. How has the company grown and what was the key essence in driving its growth?
Fundnel has grown exponentially in the two years since it was established. In 2016, Fundnel’s second year of business, we facilitated US$49 million of fundraising across 15 deals for businesses across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and India. This year also saw Fundnel embark on the first of our regionalisation efforts with our expansion into Australia.
Within Fundnel, success is largely driven by the team’s dedication towards success and determination to succeed. Teamwork and an inclusive culture drives Fundnel, with a large amount of informal banter and discussion amongst all members of the team giving rise to innovative ideas that are then brought to life by quality execution.
Our growth was also driven by increased venture capital (VC) activity in Singapore and Southeast Asia as was a result of strong favourable macroeconomic conditions such as accelerating internet penetration and rising purchasing power of a growing middle class. VCs also hold a bullish outlook on the Southeast Asian market as it is perceived to have large untapped potential, and is the last major growth market after the twin growth engines of China and India.
Q9. What was the biggest mistake you made in your entrepreneurial journey which you advise others to avoid?
“It is not what your decision is, but what you make of your decision”. This piece of advice is one of the first things I learnt from my mentor when I left the banking sector, and has become my mantra since.
In the course of running your own business, many decisions will be made that are neither right nor wrong. More often than not, decisions are made based on an assessment of what little information you possess. Even today, I still feel doubtful about some of the judgement calls I make. Despite any lingering doubt, It is important to remember that you arrived at what you determined to be the best decision based on the information available at that point in time.
Even in the event that the decision is later deemed to be the less preferred option, the key takeaway is that instead of dwelling on the past, it should be more important to spend the time evaluating why that decision was made, the outcome of the decision, and to treat it as a learning experience.
To date, this is something that I am still learning and improving upon.
Q10. What is your advice to aspiring women entrepreneurs out there?
Statistically, 90% of start-ups fail, but as the popular saying goes – nothing ventured, nothing gained. The first step to any successful venture is to be willing to take the risk to start an enterprise from scratch, and to ensure that your passion is aligned with the company’s vision.
Startups need utmost determination and a positive attitude to succeed. It is also important to thus build a team of like-minded individuals that collectively belief in the same vision for the company, working towards a common goal. Coupled with quality execution, it is not impossible for startups to bring innovative ideas into reality.
With the wealth of support from the Singapore government in its latest Budget 2017 towards the growth of start-ups and SMEs, there is no better time to build your dreams. Initiatives such as the ‘Committee on the Future Economy’ and ‘Smart Nation’ provide a robust and conducive framework for companies to grow, while organisations such as SPRING Singapore and International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) readily offer both business and monetary support to companies in their various stages of growth to ensure they grow in a sustainable manner.

To learn from entrepreneurs like Khai Lin, join us at our H.E.R Asia Summit 2018, where you will get the opportunity to meet and network with successful business owners and industry leaders. Purchase your tickets here.

HERBusiness, HERStories

From Being a Teacher to an Owner of 3 Salons in Just 3 Years!

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Q1. Tell me about yourself.
Am a mother FIRST to Nyla, 12 and Oumar, 2. Motherhood has given me the push I needed to do the things I have always dreamt of doing:
– Taught in a primary school
– Self-published 2 books with Nyla
– Sold Togas sewn by Mom online
– Transforming my clients’ realty dreams into a reality, Senior Associate Director with Propnex Realty
– Owns Pearlista Ladies Hair salon which now has 3 outlets at Eunos, Clementi and Orchard Road
Q2. What made you started your very own brand, Pearlista?
Lack of hair salons for Muslim ladies wearing the hijab (headscarves)
Q3. Who are your mentors in your business venture? Did you look out for them before you started your business or they have been around nurturing you to be an entrepreneur?
Because I did not possess any experience in hair, I consulted experienced hairstylists who have been in this industry for more than 15 years. They have been very kind and selfless in their sharing. Presently, I’m very grateful to Kak Anni Jalal (household name in the Malay beauty market)who has a wealth of experience and she’s running my outlet in Orchard right now.
Q4. Are there any challenges that you face in running a retail business for the targeted group?
I guess when we first started? Competitors were beginning to appear.
But overtime, as I mature as an entrepreneur, I am thankful for their existence because it is a motivation for Pearlista to keep improving and because of that we expanded into creating our own brand of scalp and hair care products. Always about making the first move in the muslimah hair care industry. So now I am very receptive to other ladies only hair salons and embrace them. The more the merrier!
Q5. How do you excel at home and in business?
My children are and will always be my priority. It takes a village to raise a child and I’m extremely grateful for the wonderful support network among my family members. Real estate wise, I work in a team because I believe team work makes the dream work. In my case my realising my dream of  being both an active entrepreneur and a hands on mom.
Pearlista front, my trusted pearl girls work closely with me and I make sure I go to each salon every week.
Q6. How do you manage to get an active group of followers?
Just be myself I guess?
Q7. What do you look out for when hiring talent?
Talent is a waste if it comes with an attitude and laziness. Overtime, we just want to hire sincere individuals, in Pearlista’s case, passionate hairstylists who strives always to improve their craft and service skills.
Q8. How has the company grown and what was the key essence in driving its growth?
Pearlista was established in 2014. Presently we have 3 outlets. The key essence is always trying to fulfil our clients demands, if we can, we will. Staff welfare is also very important.
Q9. What is your advice to aspiring women entrepreneurs out there?
What is the ultimate reason you want to be an entrepreneur? Always ask yourself this question.
 If it’s to make money, then be prepared to be disappointed because beginnings are always hard and that’s a make or break moment.
But if it’s reason is to fill a gap and you’re so passionate to serve, then you’re on your way… Just keep going. Never ever stop. And don’t ever worry and get scared about obstacles or any difficulty.
With the right mindset, verily with every difficulty there will be relief.
I promise you an enriching experience!

To meet entrepreneurs just like Nura, join us as a delegate at our second annual H.E.R Asia Summit on 26th September 2018. Register here.