I was so inspired by tech entrepreneurs using their businesses and their startup approach to hack social problems, that I launched my first start up. Touch2Give.com created an online marketplace bringing sustainable and social impact brands together, and donated a percentage of its sales to an NGO.
I’m obsessed with this idea that you can make money AND do good at the same time.
It’s game changing, liberating, empowering and inspirational.
That was the beginning of my startup life. I’ve since explored different industries, like D2C, luxury, fashion, and beauty. I launched China's first online luxury retailer, Shangpin.com, which I guess makes me a pioneer in the world’s most competitive market. Being able to take so many iconic brands online into the world’s number one luxury market was an incredible opportunity and a privilege. I’m not at all afraid to say that that is my favourite professional achievement so far.
Emphasis on the words “so far.”
I haven’t stopped working, or growing, and definitely haven’t stopped learning. I've been focusing back on sustainability and enrolled in an Executive Program at Cambridge on Sustainability & the Circular Economy. Ten years ago when I was championing sustainable fashion, it was early days and only niche brands were taking action. Fast forward 10 years it's great to see the largest groups in the world now making pledges towards sustainability. But still not enough is being done. We all need to step up to understand how we can contribute and do more.
But on a wider level, I’m following closing on a lot of things AI. I think it will have a huge impact on jobs, and that impact is coming at us fast. It will change things that we don’t usually consider. Like education, for example: coding will be the language that every school around the world teaches. And gender-equality, as most jobs that AI wipes out first are most likely to be those held by women.
So there will be a huge need in the future for entrepreneurs who understand technology, but are driven by the desire to do good. Because the world is changing, but we can make it change for the better.