Betty Ashman remembers watching her father run his business at a local marketplace, when she was growing up in Hong Kong.
“People from different corners of the neighbourhood would come to the market. They talked about current affairs or trivial matters, they laughed, they drank coffee, they traded. I always saw big smiles on their faces,” recalls Betty, who relocated to SG from Hong Kong nearly two decades ago.
Her businesses today – The Expat Fairs and partner company Singapore Fairs – are an extension of that memory. “I treasure this old tradition but also appreciate the new surroundings and technology,” says Betty, who founded The Expat Fairs in 2007 with the aim of helping small retailers grow. “There was the lack of a proper platform for expats with niche products to reach their target clients,” she explains.
At her now-seasonal fairs and frequent pop-up events, shoppers can peruse high-quality products from SG-based businesses, and even preview the wares (think holiday items, jewellery, gourmet foods, apparel, home accents) on the business site’s Shopping Directory.
“My passion is to help other women in small businesses to get past the struggles,” says the mother of a 7-year-old, and also, author of the 2015 self-help book, Make It Happen: 7 Steps to Thrive for Womenpreneurs.
Click here to read more about Betty and The Expat Fairs.
About The Finder Expatpreneur Awards
In 2017, The Finder debuted its first-ever Expatpreneur Awards to honour foreign-born entrepreneurs running successful expat-owned businesses in or from Singapore. This 2018, a new batch of 23 Expatpreneur Awardees have been unveiled! All of them have one thing in common: Their brands help people “live well in Singapore” – The Finder’s core mission. (Find out more about the Expatpreneur Awards judge who coined the term “expat-preneur” in 2015 while you’re here!)
By Sushmita Mohapatra and Savitha Venugopal, The Finder Issue 292
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