Wednesday, May 23, 2012

1st Southeast Asia Women Entrepreneurs Conference 2012

I had an opportunity to attend the 1st Southeast Asia Women Entrepreneurs Conference 2012 for the past two day organized by Dewanita (the women's chapter of DUBS) at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK). I must say, this is one of the best conferences that I've ever attended. The speakers were amazing and inspiring and best of all, the event was superbly done and it's awe-inspiring to see entrepreneurs from Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the host country, Malaysia to come together for this program. Here are the photos:

Day 1. At this point I didn't know what to expect of this conference. But what I do know is that they have some amazing lineups like Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz (keynote address), our own Chief Minister Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud for the opening ceremony and impressive entrepreneurs from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and Semenanjung Malaysia.

This slide was taken from the presentation of Mr. Mohamad Yusman Ammeran, sharing with us two amazing TM products that could be handy to SMEs.As a representative of a telecomunications company, I'd have to say that I love the way the speaker did his slides, but what I noticed most is he kept emphasizing that he's not promoting TM products. Well, you are a representative of TM and you should be proud that you're promoting TM. Seriously, why emphasize that you're not? But still, I love his session and how TM's product (it's akin to iCloud by Apple) is actually very suitable to SMEs.

The crowd. BCCK is definitely a great venue for conferences. 

Our conference kit was inside this cute laptop bag. Definitely the coolest conference kit I've ever seen. Kudos to the organizers. The female population definitely has better taste than the male when it comes to conference kits. 

Photo credit: Mohamad Syukrie

Later that night we had a welcoming gala dinner that night and it promised a fashion show from Sarawak's own designer, Edric Ong and Malaysia's Queen of RnB, Dayang Nurfaizah.

Photo credit: Awang Fardillah

Star of the night, definitely Miss Dayang. Great performance and definitely a joy to listen to. 
Photo credit: Awang Fardillah

And this was our crowd. There were some Indonesian entrepreneurs from Bandung, Indonesia joining our table that night. Fashion shows are not really my forte (though I do love fashion) but I find Edric's style to be a little bit eccentric to my taste but I can still see myself wear some of his designs. Very ethnic, I can see a lot of Sarawak as an inspiration to his designs and I do love how the fabric and cutting looks very effortless and light on the model's body.

Photo credit: Mohamad Syukrie

Miss Dayang in action. There were definitely a lot of Dayang's fans in attendance during the dinner. She could hardly sing as fans mobbed her from left and right.

Photo credit: Awang Fardillah

Among the VIPs in attendance at the Gala.

Photo credit: Mohamad Syukrie

It's good to be friends =).

Photo credit: Mohamad Syukrie

Post dinner and met Dayang out in the corridor. 

Photo credit: Mohamad Syukrie

Three is definitely not a crowd.

Photo credit: Mohamad Syukrie

It's just me and Louie =). Remember in my previous post I mentioned that I was going to Paris? Well, we made a short stop to Louis Vuitton and I managed to snag a bag from its Vernis collection. What do you think?

Photo credit: Mohamad Syukrie

Some of the lecturers in attendance. Definitely pensyarah ayu, right? =)

Day 2. An eye-opening session with Ms Mamika Ito from Japan. Her company is called abundant women. They focus on helping women ge the most from what they do (isn't that excellent?). After attending her talk, it seems that getting a 6-figure income seems more achievable than it was before. Will look forward to trying it out in the future =). I love her Kaching dance and I look forward to trying it out whenever I get more Kaching!

The crowd is definitely attentive. Mamiko adds a very positive vibe to the crowd and I love the fact that I can feel her positivity flowing and reaching out to each and every one of us.

One of the participants asking a question to Ms Mamika.

Ms Mamika listening attentively. She's definitely a great coach and mentor. Had an opportunity to speak to her personally and I must say that she's a very good mentor. Without me realizing it, in the span of 5 minutes, she managed to coach me into identifying the underlying reason for my business. Thank you Mamika!

Afternoon session with Harasha Bafana from Singapore. She has a new program called the Hawa network to help woman entrepreneurs. She's an emotional lady, but I don't mean that in a negative way. She very passionate at what she does and from looking at her I know that she's the kind that gives her all. Ladies, check out her Facebook for more details on the program. The Hawa Network is an excellent place to get support (especially emotional support and motivation and inspiration) in what you do and how to be better at what you do.

Branding. Definitely important. Not only in business, but even in your personal life. We are our most important advocator so who best to market ourself than ourself, right?

Me and Harasha. Will definitely be looking for her once I get full swing as an entrepreneur. I am inspired by what she shared with us, her experience in the F&B (food and beverage) industry in Singapore by establishing Samar (a restaurant she co-manage with her brother) and what she learnt from Samar and of course from her failures that made her grow into who she is today.

And this is Mariam, my assistant. She just graduated from her Bachelor in Accounting last week. Am proud of her =). 

Mamiko's Ka-Ching system. For those who are aspiring to be entrepreneurs, or even those who already are, you should join this conference (the next one, I mean). 

It was definitely a great conference. Well done and kudos to the organizers. Will look forward to future events by DUBS and Dewanita. Who knows, I might be a member in the future *wishful thinking*.

I am definitely sorry that I didn't get any photos of Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz. Her keynote address is definitely a very powerful address. I'll never forget her comments of leaving the comfort zone. And one thing for sure, I hope I can be as great and knowledgeable a lecturer as she is (she used to be an economics lecturer at UM). She is definitely my icon =).
To women and learning. We certainly strive to do better and be better.

xoxo Mrs Fashionista

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