EY selects 23 Asia Pacific business women for entrepreneurial programme

18 April 2018 Consultancy.asia 3 min. read
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The class of 2018 has been selected for professional services firm Ernst & Young's global entrepreneurial women’s mentorship programme, with 23 representatives from 11 Asia Pacific countries on board.

Covering more than 50 countries across seven regions, the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women programme is a global initiative to identify high-potential female-operated businesses and provide them with year-long support and insights to help accelerate growth, such as with the latest information and research on business strategy and practices, targeted networking, and guidance on potential sources of private capital.

The executive leadership programme is reserved for individual female-(co)founded and majority owned businesses at least five years old and already generating revenues in excess of $2 million over previous two years, with this year’s Asia Pacific and Japan intake representing businesses with a combined 2017 revenue of $687 million and a current employment-base of 4,300 staff. In addition, applicants have to demonstrate the requisite drive and creativity to succeed and grow.

Further to the support and training provided, and backed by the firm’s vast global trove of resources, the programme aims to increase company visibility among corporate executives, investors and the media, while creating an international network of elite businesswomen and role models for its alumnae – a community now totaling some 430 successful former participants worldwide.

Now into the programme’s tenth year, the firm’s recent and first global survey of its Entrepreneurial Winning Woman alumnae has revealed that their businesses have grown on average by a CAGR of 35% post-participation, while the average company headcount has risen by 166 percent. A steady 53% of the businesses are also intending to undertake a strategic action in the coming 12 months, seek external financing, and expand internationally.EY women business leadersThe new faces for the Asia Pacific class of 2018 include business-women from a diverse range of sectors, such as the education, mining, luxury consumer goods, biotech, and food and beverage industries, while hailing from as far afield as Mongolia, Sri Lanka, the Philippine and New Zealand. Further countries of origin this year include women business-leaders from Japan, Australia, China, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

Just as varied is the nature of the businesses set to be scaled, including everything from KeepCup, an Australian company run by Abigail Forsyth offering a range of reusable café-standard takeaway cups to 10 million customers in 65 countries, to TableCross, a philanthropic app from Japan designed by Kaoru Joho to convert advertising fees from a restaurant reservation platform into feeding impoverished children in seven countries.

Altogether, the firm states that its programme is designed to help savvy women entrepreneurs who exhibit confidence, conviction, tenacity and acumen to break through the existing market barriers and realise their full potential. Annette Kimmitt, EY Global Growth Markets Leader said, “What we’re seeing in the market today is that innovation is a critical driver of economic growth and job creation. And it’s clear that women entrepreneurs, when empowered with the right support and resources, are leading the way.”

APAC alumna and Australian Telstra Businesswomen of the Year award-winner Jenny Paradiso, who is the co-founder and Managing Director of solar-energy company Suntrix, said of her experience with the EY initiative; “Through this programme I have met some amazing women from across the globe, who I now value as part of my international network. This international network supports me and all of the Winning Women to grow our businesses globally.”