While the rise of the “She Economy” in China has boosted the country’s consumer market, women are also playing a significant role in the startup sector in Hong Kong and the mainland.
Women-targeted platforms that provide assistance in all aspects of starting a business have been launched in Hong Kong in the past few years. Female Entrepreneurs Worldwide (FEW) is one example.
FEW offers a platform where women aspiring to become entrepreneurs can network. The number of its registered members has surged to 4,000 from around 1,200 last year.
“Economic and technological developments have transformed every profession and business sector. We have a member who switched from a brick-and-mortar jewelry store to an online shop, and she needed to learn digital marketing and sales,” FEW cofounder Anna Wong said. “When live streaming started to boom in China, she went with the tide and launched her live streaming account.”
“Businesses capable of responding to changing market needs enjoys higher revenue,” she said, adding that there has been a significant growth in the number of women entrepreneurs in Hong Kong and the mainland.
A survey conducted earlier this year showed that 45 percent of the 1,000 women interviewed in Hong Kong have interest in starting their own businesses, while 6 percent said they were “very likely” to start a business.
Some investors may doubt women’s ability to run a startup while raising children at the same time. But Wong said both men and women face largely similar startup challenges. Apart from the gender, things like the business prospects, whether a startup has the right team, as well as the track record are also key factors investors look at.
Meanwhile, while male entrepreneurs might tend to be more rational, women entrepreneurs also have an inherent advantage as they are more willing to seek help and support, Wong said, adding that “in fact, nowadays, men and women may have the character traits of both sexes.”
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct. 3
Translation by Ben Ng
[Chinese version 中文版]
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