Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!

To cap off a topsy turvy year, we asked a few female entrepreneurs to reflect on 2016 and share their hopes for what’s ahead.

We hear from women across all industries — magazine publishing to apps and eco-friendly inventions — as well as our very own FEW co-founder.


Sarah Fung, Liv Magazine

What are the most important business lessons you learned in 2016?

I realised that you have to run your business in a way that is true to yourself, otherwise you are not going to enjoy the process and it will never feel authentic to you.

This applies to how you treat your clients, your staff, how you conduct yourself at meetings, and your ethics.

Your business needs to reflect the values that you have as a person. If you're not a cutthroat c-suite shark by nature, you don't need to pretend.

Also, I learned that it's good to cultivate a degree of pessimism. Then you can only be pleasantly surprised when things go your way!

What piece of advice are you taking with you in 2017?

You can't control what others think; only how you respond.

What are your Resolutions?

To devote more time to the accounting side of the business, and to really be on top of our numbers.  

Like many female business owners, especially in the creative industries, I knew very little about bookkeeping, profit margins and P&L sheets before starting up my business, and I've had to learn fast.

I've heard too many female entrepreneurs say that the numbers side of the business is "not their thing" — but really, it's the most important thing! I recognise this attitude in myself and I am resolving this year to become an expert amateur accountant.


Katharina Unger, LIVIN Farms

What are the most important business lessons learned in 2016?

Keep your customers close! We went through quite a few iterations and modifications on our product but maintained a very close relationship with our customers.

We installed a live chat window and did a lot of customer discovery calls to make sure we were on the right track to satisfy the true needs and wants of our customers.

And that has rewarded us with lots of positive feedback and an increase in sales.

What piece of advice are you taking with you in 2017?

Stay lean and persevere! Startups entering a new market just like us often struggle with the timing.

If they’re too early, chances are they run out of money before making a measurable impact on the market.

If they’re too late, they might be overrun. I started this project three years ago, and only this year has the market of insects as an alternative protein finally started to become more mature. The ones who are determined and stubborn but lean will survive.

What are your Resolutions?

Embrace and celebrate every small success!

I tend to get very focused on large goals and sometimes forget to smell the roses.

As a business owner I want to achieve great things for my company and team.

But it’s important to maintain a good company culture by celebrating the small steps on a daily basis.


Iella Koblenz, BloomMe app

What are the most important business lessons learned in 2016?

Having things in black and white — contracts!

There’s a lot of talk in this city, a lot of enthusiasm, and the will to collaborate and do great things together.

In order to most efficiently channel and utilize your resources and spirit, do yourself a favor and get things in writing as soon as you sit down at a table together.

What was your most important accomplishment (big or small) of 2016?

Closing our second round of investments. That was a big step forward for us as a company and was definitely a highlight of 2016!

What are your Resolutions?

To get rid of the need to be perfect at everything at all times, and instead focus on the big

picture and how to achieve that in the least possible amount of time.

And to do more yoga!

Ines Gafsi, Co-Founder FEW

What are your goals for 2017?

We want to bring FEW to another level and gather an international community of women online with our new app launching in February!

It will allow female entrepreneurs to have access to resources and connections, and help them scale and gain exposure for their businesses.

What are your Resolutions?

I've decided to have a healthier routine. I plan to do 20 minutes of yoga every morning, practice regular meditation and cook more at home often.

In a stressful city like Hong Kong, having a healthy lifestyle is important — health is wealth!