January 31, 2018

Would you like to introduce a bit on yourself, your background, and where do you come from? What motivated you to start your own business?

Hi, I’m Bowie. I was born and raised in Hong Kong in a typical Hong Kong household. I studied Sociology at Lingnan University where I had an opportunity to take up an internship at a NGO that provides support services to sex workers in Hong Kong.

In 2007-2008, there were serial killer incidents within the sex industry, and a teen sex worker was murdered and dismembered. At the time, the general public put the blame on the teen sex workers and did not consider the root of the problem. I was angry and I wanted to help. I started looking into teen sex workers and realized there are a lot of teens providing sex services online.

Upon graduation, my mentors at school and NGOs encouraged me to start an NGO that focuses on helping teen sex workers. In fact, my mentor at the NGO found one-year funding for me to start this project. With such support and encouragement, I founded Teen’s Key - an NGO that strive to create a safe, supportive and non-judgemental environment for young women and girls to develop their potential and educate them about their maternal health and rights.

 

Photo credit to Michael Kistler

“TEEN’S KEY IS A PLATFORM TO SHARE THOUGHTS…”


What were some challenges you faced, especially as a female entrepreneur, when launching your own business/passion project?

I believe the challenges I have encountered to date are due to a combination of my gender and age. I founded Teen’s Key upon graduation, when I was 23 years old. As a young female entrepreneur, I had difficulty in getting my voice heard equally or being taken seriously. I was fortunate to have mentors who believe in me and value young people’s opinion. Therefore I would invite my mentors to join me at important meetings to overcome the age and gender discrimination.


Aside from being a successful female entrepreneur, what other roles are you taking up and how would you make a balance in life?

To me, it is a balance between being a daughter and a wife. You always have to adjust and acknowledge your roles according to priority and feelings. I strike my balance between being a daughter and wife by constantly communicating with my parents and husband so that I manage their expectations and avoid/preempt miscommunications and conflicts.


What is your favourite sport/workout and why?

I used to play volleyball in high school but stopped exercising on a regular basis since university. A few years ago I started getting sick frequently and it alarmed me that I need to be more aware of my health and well-being. Therefore I started to go to the gym to condition my body. I am happy to share that I take pilates classes twice a week now and I feel much better!


“BE YOURSELF...”


To you, how will you define a beautiful woman?

A beautiful woman is a woman that knows herself, accepts who she is… a woman who is not afraid to be herself.

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