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An Honest Conversation on Challenges Women Entrepreneurs Would Face in 2018

In 2015, the life of Angeline Chin was at a turning point when she decided to give up her full-time corporate career to focus more of her attention on her then 7-year-old daughter. As a full-time mother, you typically have a few hours to spare when your kids are in school or out for activities, and Angeline decided to make full use of those hours. The result? She found purpose and meaning. And now, she is set out to support other women who may be going through the same situation. Angeline wants to help because she knows too well that the journey will not be an easy one.

“If nobody wants to hire you, why don’t you look deep inside and explore what are the hobbies and skills that you have that can be monetised?” Angeline remarked as she explained in the interview what she has been working on for the past two years, and what she is up to next.

Angeline founded HerPortal in 2015 to focus on helping Malaysian women find part-time, flexible and home-based jobs. With a starting capital of RM1,500 and as a one-woman company, Angeline has managed to grow HerPortal to become an active platform with a strong community. As she ventures deeper into this endeavour, Angeline sees more possibilities.

“I did many events and spoke to a lot of women. Apparently jobs are not the main focus of their life. They want to make things more meaningful. A lot of women are slowly coming out. They want to do their own business but they don’t know how,” said Angeline.

“Many women are willing to take a leap of faith. But when you do that, you really have to learn by experiencing ups and downs. Not everyone can withstand the challenges and many give up and they go back to working. And then they would get miserable again and they try again to look for a purpose in life.”

“So I thought why don’t I come up with a subset of what I am already doing, which is to empower women, not just by connecting them to available jobs out there, but also to empower them with choices,” Angeline was speaking from experience. Her journey in managing HerPortal was (and is still) paved with stumbling blocks. Therefore, in order to help women like her addressing their predicaments, Angeline created Her Conference, a one-day intimate event where participants can pick the experts’ brain.

What really are the challenges women entrepreneurs face?

We asked Angeline what are the obstacles of women entrepreneurs in the year ahead, and what we gathered are her honest answers.

“Challenges women entrepreneurs would face in 2018 would not be very be far off from what we are facing right now. It will spill over to 2018, because it is something that women have to address continuously,” said Angeline.

Here are the four points Angeline highlighted. Instead of presenting the challenges, she suggested what women can do to overcome it. And they are mostly about women’s mindset and taking actions.

1. Accept the fact that you have to juggle between many things, and learn to find the balance

Women lead life differently than men. Women are built to multi-task, and naturally, women tend to worry about many things. Use your nature to your advantage and find productivity within it.

2. Stop pleasing others and live up only to your own expectations

As a woman, when you run a business, you constantly have this fear that you need to prove to people that you can do it. Too often women are too emotional and care too much about others’ perception on them. Remove that fear so that you may focus your energy in devising plans that would help build a successful company.

3. Be genuine with one another 

Angeline questions the genuineness of some women supporting women. Unfortunately, some spend too much time gossiping and talking bad about each other. Collectively, women need to remove that kind of negativity. If women want to grow, you have to change your mindset and be very objective.

4. We need more women investors

It is no secret that men tend to invest more in men’s companies, because they simply can relate to each other’s dreams and ways of doing business. In order to help women grow their companies, there needs to be a healthy ecosystem of women investors who are willing to invest in women.

Most people got funded because someone believe in their dreams. We want women who have high net worth to invest in women business

Angeline noted that with the boom of the e-commerce platforms in Malaysia, it is providing a gateway for women entrepreneurs who offer products to access the markets. However, the challenge is all about sustaining it and how to stand out from a pool of similar products.

Creating a support system to help women build sustainable companies — big and small

With Her Conference, Angeline aims to address all the questions women have about starting and building a business. Angeline has reached out to her personal contacts and gathered a line-up of experts and successful entrepreneurs to share their experiences and expertise.

Her Conference

“I am organising Her Conference because I think this is what women need. This is something that I wished I had when I first started building HerPortal,” Angeline shared that the programme of the conference has been designed to help women address their fear of starting out, and to create a productive support system where women can access knowledge and resources required.

The support and response for Her Conference has exceeded Angeline’s initial expectation. Many parties, including established companies and government agencies, are pouring in resources for this initiative.

If you are interested to attend the event, you may sign up here.

Her Conference is not a one-off event, Angeline revealed that it is the beginning of a bigger movement for women who are looking to find purpose and meaning of life.

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