#SheMeansBusiness Fellowship Program

The #SheMeansBusiness Fellowship Program launched in Hong Kong in 2022. The 6-month-long program aims to recruit ten local women entrepreneurs and provide them with the required business skills while equipping them with the right mindset to inspire emerging women entrepreneurs (or brands) and develop advocates to give back to the SMB communities.

The program will provide one-on-one training opportunities, workshops by experts and sponsorship for marketing campaigns to help entrepreneurs master the necessary skills needed to develop and expand their businesses online. Additionally, participants will be exposed to events, marketing campaigns and public speaking opportunities, along with being invited to join the Boost with Facebook Leaders Network, a diverse community of founders and entrepreneurs with exclusive resources and connections to foster business growth.

To ensure fellows get the most out of this program, #SheMeansBusiness alumni and co-founders of Herbs’Oil, Vriko Kwok and Tata Miyamoto, will co-host this program with Meta. Vriko and Tata were former trainees of the #SheMeansBusiness Program (2017) and have now become its speakers. In the past few years, they have successfully expanded their business to several overseas markets through online sales and continued to grow their venture even during the pandemic. We believe their experience will be a good example for other women entrepreneurs to understand the process of navigating the new normal.

Meet the #SheMeansBusiness Fellows

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A venture that symbolises inheritance of craftsmanship

Asvida Jewellery
Carmen Kwok

She wants to make long-lasting jewellery for her customers.

I am Carmen Kwok, the founder of Asvida Jewellery, a light jewellery brand based in Hong Kong. We believe that jewels are meaningful additions to women’s lives, thus, we use top quality 18K diamonds to ensure our pieces are the perfect accompaniments.

Staying relevant is a huge challenge.

At the moment, we use Instagram and Facebook ads to widen my business’s reach. However, we find it challenging to manage advertisements on Facebook owing to a limited following. With the #SheMeansBusiness Fellowship Program, I hope to master Facebook digital marketing skills, strategic planning, and networking to help grow my business in a systematic way.

In the coming years, we hope to increase shop locations within Hong Kong and reach countries such as Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, the US and parts of Europe. We are also keen on supporting our employees with digital tools for business tasks like replying to customers and tracking sales. At Asvida, we look forward to celebrating every milestone with our customers.

Keeping the dreams alive

Addoilmusic Limited
Kitty Yip

She is an experienced social worker and caters to children and the youth.

My name is Kitty Yip. I co-founded Addoilmusic along with my husband, Bryan, in 2013, after we concluded that several young talented musicians give up on their music dreams due to the lack of stable income, support and network. Our aim is to help such musicians develop their career and let underprivileged children learn music for free.

Her focus is never letting the less fortunate give up on their dreams.

Addoilmusic is the first social enterprise in Hong Kong that promotes playing and making music together. For the past 8 years, we have used Facebook and Instagram to help promote our business, announce updates, and engage our clients and alliance. Our “Dare to Write and Sing Songwriting Contest” has attracted over 800 participants, 300,000 online audience and nearly 20 supporting organizations since 2017. We have already trained and employed over 30 part-time professional musicians and tutors, and have been working with over 40 schools, NGOs and corporations successfully to serve over 22,000 children, young people, adults and seniors.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a greater need for music services across sectors.

We hope to expand our existing music education and production services to different sectors such as speed jam sessions, lyrics co-writing workshops, pop music ensemble band training, studio recording and music production services.

With the program, I want to improve our digital marketing and business skills to make Addoilmusic more sustainable and impactful. Also, among key priorities are increasing Facebook and Instagram followers, generating more revenue, supporting 100 HK young talented musicians to produce high quality music works, and helping 1,000 deprived children to learn music for free. Eventually, we wish to become the largest music platform in Asia.

Popularizing alternative menstrual products to make them mainstream

Happeriod
Zoe Chan

Running a business is challenging owing to its multidimensional nature.

I am Zoe Chan, the founder of Happeriod, an initiative that strives for a more environmental and menstrual friendly environment in Hong Kong and helps women gain autonomy of their bodies and alleviate stigmas around menstruation.

It’s important to have conversations around body autonomy and menstrual health.

Our vision is to popularize menstrual cups and other alternative menstrual products and make them mainstream, offering women/menstruators a freer and healthier choice. As a social entrepreneur, I started Happeriod so that we could help more people learn about a happy period.

Her vision for the business is to build a society where menstruation is not taboo.

We grow our business via Facebook and Instagram and most of our customers get in touch with us through them. We have also created a Facebook group to strengthen our community and maintain relationships with our customers. With the program, besides advocacy and education, I would love to learn ways through which I could market our services and products and build our reputation/brand image with specific focus on Facebook ads and content creation.

In the near future, I plan to increase our sales to three times the current value.

Sharing happiness through food

Festyle
Ding Ding Yip

Festyle makes use of seasonal ingredients and housewives’ wisdom to deliver ready-to-cook cuisine boxes, catering services, and workshops.

My name is Ding Ding Yip, and I am the founder of Festyle—a social enterprise that aims at promoting women employment and empowerment, as well as healthy dining culture in Hong Kong.

Growing up, I was inspired by my father’s persistence and enthusiasm in operating restaurants and my mother who ensured I had access to healthy homemade meals. As a business, Festyle has provided family-friendly working opportunities to over 35 women, generating over 20,000 working hours. Working with housewives with home-cooking experiences, it has generated over 1,200 recipes to deliver heart-warming food service to over 11,000 family members. To support women micro-entrepreneurship, Festyle’s HOME-trepreneur program in 2021 has trained 42 housewives and empowered 8 of them to launch their own products.

She aims to establish a community to empower and support women to begin their journey in micro-entrepreneurship.

We connect with our customer base through Facebook and Instagram pages while advertising to attract and re-target potential customers. WhatsApp Business has been our main customer communication channel to distribute news and provide support.

This year, she wants to establish a licensed food factory.

As a young social entrepreneur, the lack of experience, network, and professional knowledge is causing some bottlenecks in business development and fundraising in the business growth and scale-up stage. Thus, with the #SheMeansBusiness Fellowship Program, I expect to learn more about digital marketing, business development and strategies, and branding. 

In the next three years, we plan to become the market leader in the ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat food subscription landscape. We also want to set up 3 physical stores for customers to experience and interact with the brand values and product offerings and establish a community to empower and support women to start micro-entrepreneurship to unleash their potential and extend their passions in food and beverage.

Sending out the right message

Professional Ear Spa Association of Asia
Renee Kwan

She is keen on helping HK citizens take a break from their busy lives and relieve stress.

I am Renee Kwan, the founder of Professional Ear Spa Association of Asia. While studying Chinese Literacy at a university in Taiwan, I spent my spare time learning all about ear care (earwax and massage skills) from a master owing to my interest in the field. Upon my return to Hong Kong, I realised that there was a lot of misinformation surrounding ear care and the facilities an ear spa entails. Thus, years later, in August 2020, I started PESA with the intention of busting myths and setting the right example.

It’s challenging to promote the business effectively.

Most people think that an ear spa is about cleaning earwax, but it’s a way to relax, release stress and heal the soul. PESA aims to build a certain business standard and spread awareness about ear picking and caring. At this point, we use Facebook to spread the word about our business, but the main roadblock is plagiarism wherein competitors use our content, which leaves the team demotivated. What also is a challenge is the fact that most team members have other full-time jobs and we are left with no time to deal with the pressing issue.

The team is keen on being invited by other organizations to teach spa courses.

With the program, I am keen on improving our promotional and marketing skills, learn all about ad target setting and Facebook and Instagram payments. In the future, we would want to train more therapists, teach spa courses across various target groups and eventually, become the top ear spa training centre East Asia.

Creating a safe platform for gender equality enthusiasts

The Fu Court
Konnie Lie

She hopes to serve as a representative of the BL culture and what it stands for.

My name is Konnie Lie and I founded The Fu Court in 2019 to promote gender equality and Boys’ Love (BL) culture in Hong Kong through online media and offline experience and build a safe community for our customers.

It is an attempt to move past stereotypical notions.

Despite the rapid development of the industry in many places such as Thailand and Japan where BL TV dramas and comics are a huge rage, the acknowledgment of this culture is minimal. We aim to introduce the multi-aspects of BL including history, development, products and beliefs behind the culture through online media, offline activities and a physical store. We are also keen to build a close community for local BL enthusiasts (“fujoushi” and “fudanshi”) by providing a safe place for them to communicate and make friends thus removing the stigma around BL.

The customer feedback encourages her to keep going.

We use Instagram and Facebook to interact with the target audience through different posts and stories. However, we face lack of manpower and are unable to execute plans despite many ideas. With this program, I desire to grasp marketing and planning strategies and understand the best way to execute our ideas. In the years to come, we want to become the largest BL brand (as a retail store selling BL books, a successful online media and a production studio producing our own BL drama and comic series) in HK and provide a wide range of online and offline services with more staff and branches.

Building a sustainable world

Happy Baton
Natalie Chow

Lack of awareness leads to several obstacles for a business of this kind

I am Natalie Chow, the founder of Happy Baton, HK’s first online toy subscription platform, providing toy box swaps every 4 weeks at your doorstep.

The toy industry leads to enormous generation of waste

Being a busy parent, I wanted to ensure the time I spend with my children is purposeful, especially when it comes to play time. I have always had a strong passion for quality toys whilst promoting sustainability. At Happy Baton, the toys are sourced from renowned brands using excellent quality and safe materials. There are successful start-ups with similar offerings in the US/EU but none in Asia.

The toy industry leads to enormous generation of waste

Most of our audience comes from Instagram, and we use its stats for analysis. We haven’t placed any paid ads as of now. We get a lot of queries about the quality and sanitization process of the toys from customers. With the program, I aim to improve our social media communication messages, customer journey throughout all touchpoints and ad spends to eventually have 1,000 active customers in HK, 15 B2B customers and start our business in Singapore.

She is hoping to double her sales by the end of 2022

The toy industry is the most plastic-intensive industry in the world, where parents often overconsume which leads to enormous waste. With a circular model, we hope to reduce the clutter and educate our next generation the virtues of sharing.

Nurturing a fine life

JOMO Coffee & Cakes
Ice Chong

JOMO strives to become a platform that reminds people to live in the present.

I am Ice Chong, and I founded JOMO Coffee & Cakes with the aim of providing a comfortable space that helps balance one’s body, mind and spirit.

She believes in keeping a positive mindset to not let the challenges get to her.

Motherhood taught me the importance of health and quality of life, and JOMO is an attempt at demonstrating this pursuit through my passion in baking. The venture raises awareness about living consciously and reflecting on the quality of food that we feed our bodies. For now, we use Facebook ads to increase audience awareness, but it’s a challenge to strike a balance between motherhood (with competing priorities and limited time) and running a company. 

With the program, I want to improve our digital marketing and online promotion skills. Next year, we plan to inaugurate a new branch in Kai Tak, and in the next few years, JOMO is keen to focus on online cake orders and develop more merchandise. Our focus is to help people experience the “joy of missing out”. 

Healing the mind and soul with art

mYSpace
Eva Sung

Dyed fabrics can be a beautiful addition to homes.

My name is Eva Sung, the founder of mYSpace, a venture that aspires to continue the indigo dyeing culture by providing a platform to experience it hands-on. We hope that the dyed fabrics can be used as home accessories and are able to add a gracious touch to customers’ lives.

Increasing visibility is of prime importance at this point.

We have linked our company’s website to our Facebook page to promote our business. We also ensure we post regularly, follow SEO guidelines and use relevant hashtags to increase traffic. However, it’s a challenge to manage time whilst running a company and at the same time allowing space for creativity. 

With the program, I desire to explore more marketing methods and business strategies and get a better grasp on social media. Eventually, we want to shape our business as a unique, competent and sustainable part of the cultural and creative industries.

Showcasing the beauty of silk flowers to the world

Bunny Garden
Zola Cheung

Her inspiration comes from the colors of nature.

I am Zola Cheung, the founder of Bunny Gardenan enterprise that offers silk flower products for different occasions to create unforgettable memories.

Indulging people in the flowers’ beauty is her key to happiness.

Ever since my daughter’s birth, managing my time and roles has become our biggest challenge, and that is why Bunny Garden strives to learn to grow and run automatically and systematically. We must maximize the efficiency and profit to build a sustainable business. Currently, we use Facebook ads and the shop function to promote our products and increase reach.

She wants to grow a team with the same vision and passion.

In the pipeline are creating a catalogue for customers to make informed choices, fixing budgets for marketing and increasing brand recognizability by creating a set of visual images or illustrations that align with our brand story.

With the #SheMeansBusiness Fellowship program, I intend to learn more about branding, marketing, creating effective ads to enhance conversion rate and best practices to maximize efficiency. Eventually, we want Bunny Garden to become a name to reckon with in its industry. 

Carmen Kwok
Asvida
Jewellery
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Built a successful jewellery business with her creations

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Kitty Yip
Addoilmusic
Limited
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Helped the underprivileged realize their music dreams

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Zoe Chan
Happeriod
 
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Spread awareness about alternative menstrual products

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Ding Ding Yip
Festyle
 
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Empowered women by unleashing their entrepreneurial potential

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Renee Kwan
Professional Ear Spa Association of Asia
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Educated the masses on ear picking and caring

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Konnie Lie
The Fu
Court
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Alleviated the stigma surrounding gender inequality

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Natalie Chow
Happy Baton
Limited
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Turned her passion for quality toys into a successful company

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Ice Chong
JOMO Coffee
& Cakes
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Encouraged healthier living through her business

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Eva Sung
mYSpace
 
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Started a platform to revive the indigo dyeing culture

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Zola Cheung
Bunny
Garden
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Turned her passion for silk flowers into a thriving business

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