Sometimes inspirational soundbites aren't enough; a new non-profit group aims to provide a place where would-be woman entrepreneurs can network, writes Kylie Knott
"Look far and wide for opportunity," says Jack Ma Yun, the Chinese businessman who turned a small website into a multibillion-dollar empire, Alibaba. "Fight your fears," urges Arianna Huffington, the American founder of online news site The Huffington Post. "Be bold and daring," advises Sean Parker, who co-founded file-sharing service Napster.
Sometimes, though, inspirational sound-bites aren't enough: particularly for women in the male-dominated tech and finance sectors.
Enter Female Entrepreneurs Worldwide (Few). Founded in May, by Hongkonger Anna Wong and Ines Gafsi of France (they met last year at a TEDxHongKong talk), the platform aims to provide a networking forum in the city.
A Few event held earlier this month.
According to a recent global survey by French bank BNP Paribas, 45 per cent of entrepreneurs in Hong Kong are women, a percentage that is higher than everywhere else in the world except India (49 per cent). The report, however, concluded that many "women still often lack the confidence to start a business. They need to believe in themselves more."
Gafsi agrees, and says one of the main objectives of Few is to empower women.
"There are incredible women in Hong Kong - you just need to network and meet them," says the digital marketing specialist, who has worked with multinational corporations and start-ups.
Few is also in talks with female entrepreneur groups in California to organise a conference in Hong Kong that will bring together entrepreneurs, students, start-ups and investors to empower and inspire the next generation of female leaders.
For more information and upcoming Few events, visit femaleentrepreneurshk.com