What is Soul Rich Woman and its mission?
Soul Rich Woman is Southeast Asia’s largest network of female entrepreneurs with 11,000 active members collaborating across 15 countries.
What first started as a mission aimed to help Singaporean women entrepreneurs has now expanded to other Asian countries with the newest market entry being the Philippines. Its main purpose is to bring like-minded women together and empower the members in a way that they achieve their ambitions with proper guidance. Its network of community leaders and staff engage a wider 200,000 strong female community.
Soul Rich Woman is helping remove obstacles for female entrepreneurship through mentoring, skill sharing and network building programmes across the region.
Soul Rich Woman’s mission is to move the needle on female entrepreneurship across Southeast Asia and enable women to succeed in business, life and health, through knowledge sharing, networking and inspiring confidence in one another.
We center our approach on progressively building up a network of amazing female members and high quality mentors across the region that work with and support aspiring and existing female entrepreneurs.
I personally define “Soul Rich Woman” as a woman who lives in her own terms, specific to business with recurring incomes.
What have you found the most rewarding about setting up Soul Rich Woman?
The most rewarding thing about setting up Soul Rich Woman is being able to play an instrumental role in propelling a woman’s dream forward – empowering them to go after their aspirations with confidence founded on actual and tested knowledge which they get through the platform.
We work with aspiring and existing female entrepreneurs in many ways to help them achieve their aims in all areas of life – health, personal-being and wealth. Balance is really important in an entrepreneur’s life so we run various seminars, online education programs, coaching and networking sessions to help them achieve not only their business goals but their life goals too.
Once a member signs up, they have immediate access to an active online community of female entrepreneurs sharing knowledge, skills and personal advice across the 15 countries where we’re active. This knowledge sharing has meant that aspiring female entrepreneurs in Vietnam can directly connect with women in similar industries, seek personal or business advice, contacts or do business together.
Aside from the networking opportunities and workshops, we also support members with one on one support including educational resources (10,000 hours of tutorials), mentor-ship with relevant business leaders in PR, finance, marketing and others and business starter templates to get them going.
For me, success isn’t about glorious wins, it’s about the behind-the-scenes work that you do to help others that matter. It’s about helping aspiring women entrepreneurs keep their focus on their goals and stay motivated enough to do their best to realize their full potential. My vision is to lay the groundwork for other women’s success and then take a step back to let them shine and reap the rewards of their hard work.
What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?
The most exciting thing? We are also launching our #SoulRichWoman Blueprint, such as Woman of Influence in 7 countries, to help an additional 115,000 female entrepreneurs to get the support they need to start and grow their own businesses – and show the world what they’re made of. I can’t wait to come back each time and see all that they’ve accomplished through our Soul Rich Woman community.
What do you wish you had known before launching Soul Rich Woman and becoming a female entrepreneur?
I believe empowerment begins with education. If you can provide the skills, support and the network for ambitious women, great things can be achieved. Without it, women are more prone to failure and less are likely to start their own business.
We certainly aim to be part of the solution here but in reality, it starts in schools and universities. Ensuring women have equal access to education is key and skill sharing needs to be encouraged more. Right now, as we are building our Soul Rich Woman Community in Vietnam, many women already know another female entrepreneur — if we can continue harnessing that knowledge and pushing entrepreneurial advocacy, I think we can see real progress for Vietnamese women in the long term.
What is the role fear plays in our in our daily lives. How do you keep motivated to overcome doubts and fears?
We need more confidence and less fear of failure! Across Southeast Asia, women are more likely than men to lack the self belief they need to launch a new venture. Most of the time, this relates to women perceiving they don’t have or not having the right skills to set up a business which is one of the problems we are trying to solve at Soul Rich Woman.
Another empowerment issue women face in the region is grabbing international opportunity. If you take Vietnam for example, less than 1% of female owned businesses sell internationally compared to more than 20% of male owned businesses, even though the majority of businesses in Vietnam are owned by women. We need to up-skill female entrepreneurs to sell internationally and take advantage of international opportunity. It’s not a unique problem in Vietnam, it’s the same across the region.
Furthermore, I always say that you should never be crippled by fear and failures. Always find the courage to do what you want to do. In spite of self-doubt, always take action and have full commitment with all your endeavours because a lot of times, we tend to stay in our comfort zones due to the fear of failure.
We are all in this box we put ourselves in that we think we can’t get out of – that’s what we want to address in Soul Rich Woman, to remove these self-limiting beliefs that stop us from being the best version of ourselves and go after what we want.
Women shouldn’t be crippled by their perceived limitations. Don’t be a victim of your own circumstances. Step out of your comfort zone and go towards the dreams you desire. Envision success. Don’t dwell, because the longer you dwell, the harder it’ll be for you to take action. Get educated, make mistakes, learn, repeat. You don’t want to be that person who regrets not doing enough for herself when you get older.
Do you have some recommendations to other women who have startup ideas?
I always encourage women to find a mentor who has the outcomes they desire. You are the average of the 6 people you hang out with the most. Find someone who inspires you and is willing to help you grow and learn — a mentor that after the mentoring sessions, you still have great rapport with.
You must also find a support community — this is something that really pushed me to create Soul Rich Woman. When I was setting up my online business, there weren’t many business mentors that I could easily have access to. I had to piecemeal resources together, walk the school of hard knocks and after every workshop I’ve attended, there’s lack of continuous support.
I mean, I can’t have “all the problems” in one day right? As we do it, we have daily new ah-ha moments, and situations that we want to ask questions about. So I’d like to invite you, a female entrepreneur, blog shop owner, coach, instructor, business owner or a lady who is passionate about sharing your products and ideas to the world to join our women by women community. It is for you who want to reach for your dreams.
How you deal with fear that determines how successful you will become
Daily must have
Sense of purpose in the things I do daily
Things I love
Empowering women to succeed in life, business and health
Travelling to meet Soul Rich Woman community in various countries
Spending time with my family (I’m only in Singapore 7 days a month!)