5 Women Entrepreneurs You Need To Know In Malaysia
Meet five women entrepreneurs on the Gen.T List who are claiming their rightful spot in Malaysia's entrepreneurial scene–and paving the way for other women to do the same
The entrepreneurial scene in Malaysia is continuing to grow rapidly, and women have been quick to claim their rightful spot––with one in five companies in the country now owned by women, according to Malaysia’s Statistics Department. According to its chief statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin, the agricultural sector saw the largest growth in female ownership, with women owning almost three times more companies in 2015 than 2010: 1,541 versus 580. The Malaysian government has also been trying to make its cities better places for female entrepreneurs with various grants and funds.
But many hurdles remain for entrepreneurial women in the country, including societal and cultural expectations, institutional barriers and access to financial capital.
Here are five women on the Gen.T List in Malaysia who are helping to smash the country’s entrepreneurial glass ceiling––and paving the way for other women to do the same.
Datin Vivy Yusof
One of Malaysia’s top influencers, with 1.4 million Instagram followers, Datin Vivy Yusof is the co-founder of online fashion site FashionValet, which has been stocking the latest Asian fashions since 2010, serving as a key platform for up-and-coming Southeast Asian designers. In 2014, Yusof also founded dUCk, a fashion accessories company renowned for its chic, colourful scarf collections.
The co-founder of Nova Satra Dx, Ivanna Salehudin empowers both patients and physicians through research, development and commercialisation of blood-based tests that provide accurate, rapid detection of cancer. One of her most notable creations was NovoTect Bc, the first test that specifically detects breast cancer in Asian patients.
Raja Jesrina Arshad
Driven by a passion for health and wellbeing, Raja Jesrina Arshad co-founded PurelyB, a one-stop online portal that aims to provide guidance and solutions for living a healthy and sustainable life in Asia. Since it was launched in 2015, PurelyB has expanded exponentially, producing television content and being selected as one of 20 Malaysian startups for Stanford University’s e@Stanford entrepreneurship programme.
Datin Dian Lee
At the age of 22 Datin Dian Lee founded The Clearwater Group, an award winning boutique property development company––and made a name for herself as one of the youngest property developers in Malaysia. Lee has since delved into both the food and fitness industries, running two restaurants, Ploy and Way, and a wellness centre, Be Urban Wellness. She was awarded Malaysia’s Most Promising Young Woman of the Year in 2007 by Malaysia Tatler.
See also: Under the Influence: Datin Dian Lee
In 2010 Jenn Low decided to leave her accounting job and start her own jewellery brand, Wanderlust + Co, in her one-bedroom apartment in Melbourne. Now the likes of Gigi Hadid, Jessica Alba and Kendall Jenner wear her designs. Low also works with Women for Women International using Wanderlust + Co to support female survivors of war by equipping them with skills to live independently.
See more honourees on the Gen.T List 2019.