20 Nov These 4 Women Entrepreneurs are Changing Lives in Asia
When women reach their full economic potential through entrepreneurship, it doesn’t just narrow the economic gender gap, it drives job creation and inclusive growth. Asia and the Pacific alone stand to gain 70% in per capita income within 60 years or two generations when the gender gap in entrepreneurship is eliminated¹. This is one of the many reasons why we support women leaders at Wedu.
Today on Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we highlight four of our Rising Star entrepreneurs and how their ventures are making ripples of change in their communities.
Founder of EduHub of Young Initiatives (EYI)
Ruksana is a 20-year-old college student and youth empowerment advocate from Yangon, Myanmar. Due to the coup and COVID pandemic, most students had to stop school, restricting their learning capabilities. After taking the Introduction to Leadership Programme (ITL) and gaining clarity on her purpose and goals, she created an online community where students can access high-quality education and knowledge at a low cost.
EduHub of Young Initiatives (EYI)
EduHub of Young Initiatives is a non-profit youth-led organisation dedicated to empowering youths through various community projects, including low-cost online classes and study clubs, scholarship and career-sharing programs, and special education consultation sessions. It creates a bridge between volunteers and passionate individuals, allowing both parties to demonstrate their volunteer work ethics while discovering and advancing the youths’ true potential and skills.
EYI has helped hundreds of students earn scholarships and gain language and digital marketing skills through study clubs, courses, and consultation sessions. They also organised a month-long career festival in October, featuring nine guest speakers from different professions to educate around 1,000 students on choosing the right career path.
“Practice kindness, integrity, and character,” Ruksana says as advice to aspiring women entrepreneurs. “Own your power! Believe in yourself, and if you have a good idea, do not let it go. And lastly, don’t quit even if you fail.”
Support Ruksana and EYI on:
- Instagram: @eyi_foryou_foryouth
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eduhubofyounginitiatives
- Email: email@example.com
Founder of Project Nirbhik
Since she was a child, Sharfa knew how crucial it is to aid those in need after watching her grandfather and father support the people in her hometown village. Her work with the UN Migration Agency and International Organization for Migration also gave her a profound and concrete understanding of the issues that rural areas face.
Driven by a deep commitment to improving education and healthcare in rural communities, she founded Project Nirbhik.
From the Hindi word for ‘Fearless’, Project Nirbhik is a nonprofit dedicated to rural development through education, healthcare, nutrition, and financing for basic needs. They currently work in the Munshiganj district of Bangladesh but are striving to expand their reach to other provinces in the next few years. With the support and efforts of her team and other volunteers, Project Nirbhik has already reached 16 students between 7 to 40 years old through its free school and digital classroom. To improve healthcare, they’ve promoted menstrual and reproductive health education to over 50 women and provided free doctor consultations, and hand pumps to increase access to clean and sanitary water.
The key driving force behind Sharfa’s ambition as an entrepreneur is to inspire other women to be changemakers in their community. She wants to focus on ideas and initiatives with meaningful actions that generate a larger impact. “Trust yourself and act intentionally. Be very clear about what you want and work to craft an opportunity that allows you to work in ways that work for you and your community.”
Sharfa also highlights how having a community of support has amplified her work as an entrepreneur. “Thanks to the Wedu community, I was able to develop a huge network, which not only supports and uplifts me but also guides me to aspire higher and rise together! Wedu has shaped me into a more positive version of myself as a woman entrepreneur.”
Support Sharfa and learn more about Project Nirbhik by:
- Watching their YouTube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6BRH66k5s8
- Connecting with her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharfa-wazifa/
Founder of Yumn Healthy Eats
As a mother of two and a medical doctor, Yofara’s concern grows about the prevalence of preventable, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Indonesia, like diabetes and heart disease. But she believes there’s a way to combat them.
Yofara shares, “I strive to help change the community’s relationship, mindset, and behaviour towards a healthy diet and lifestyle, thus helping them become health advocates for themselves and their loved ones. I want to help build a healthier world starting from Indonesia.” This is why she founded the wellness brand Yumn Healthy Eats.
Yumn Healthy Eats
Yumn Healthy Eats is a wellness brand that provides healthy meals and online nutrition coaching to NCD patients. Their meals comply with the diet restrictions of people with Hypertensive and Diabetic issues. She seized the opportunity to start the business when the Indonesian community’s interest in health began to increase at the beginning of the Pandemic.
In 2021, Yumn Healthy Eats was chosen to be among the Top 24 Women-Led Start-Ups in the SheDisrupts Indonesia competition. She hopes to contribute more and is excited to reach more patients with Metabolic Syndrome and NCD in the Jakarta area.
To aspiring entrepreneurs who don’t know where to start, Yofara shares this piece of advice, “The journey to entrepreneurship starts with finding the gap or problem to be solved from the causes we’re passionate about.”
Learn more about Yumn Healthy Eats here: https://linktr.ee/yumneats.
Director of Digital Network Architect Corporation
Zahrul Basimah is the Director of Digital Network Architect Corporation. She works as a community architect, assisting and building communities’ capacity to map, plan, design, and develop their living environment. She has also been helping the slum settlement communities in Pontianak City, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, build their neighbourhoods.
DNA Corporation (Digital Network Architect Corporation)
DNA Corporation is a space where architects from different backgrounds exchange ideas and collaborate to build meaningful, grounded projects.
The idea behind this came from the realisation that most people see architects only for designing high-end or luxurious buildings and for people who can afford the service. But that is not the case for them; they believe that architecture is a basic need and that everyone, including the underprivileged, deserves a great design. They want to contribute more with their knowledge and design skills to the people and communities despite their financial and socio-cultural backgrounds.
In 2020, DNA used community-based approaches to develop a tourism map for the slum settlements of Kampung Mendawai and Kampung Bangka, located in the Kapuas Riverside. Not only were they able to create livelihoods, but they also supported the preservation of traditional Tudong or caping craftsmanship.
Becoming an entrepreneur allows Zahrul to manage her goals, efforts, resources, and time based on her priorities. “Being an entrepreneur is the only way to achieve my goals as a community architect since working with communities needs flexibility and dynamics. I still have to adapt well and still have a lot of room for improvement. I advise aspiring women entrepreneurs to starve for knowledge and skills because the world keeps changing. Do not settle!” said Zahrul.
Support Zahrul and the DNA Corporation on:
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dnacorporation/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DNACorporationPNK
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEh1wWlFfr-MIY_nwhavdcQ/featured
- Website: https://dnacorporation.business.site/
At Wedu, we celebrate and nurture the unique and transformative leadership journeys of Rising Stars like Roksana, Sharfa, Yofara, and Zahrul. In our tenth year, we’re asking 100 people to help us reach more women changemakers and close the gender leadership gap in our lifetime. Give here today.