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 1.8 million - and growing - 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.