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With an audience of around 400 attendees, the fourth edition of the Women Entrepreneur Awards (WEA) was held on July 25, 2023, at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Singapore. This event returned after a three-year hiatus caused by the global pandemic and serves as a platform to honor women in business for their exceptional contributions to both the corporate sector and the wider Singapore community.

Categories and Selection Criteria

The WEA 2023 accepted over 80 nominations and distributed awards across four categories: Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), Large/Listed Companies, Corporate, and the newly introduced Phoenix Award. The Corporate category applauds C-level executives with at least five years of tenure in a company generating revenue of S$200 million or more. Meanwhile, the Phoenix Award acknowledges previous WEA winners who have bounced back with added vigor from the pandemic’s adverse effects.

Emphasizing Resilience in Times of Crisis

In her opening remarks, WEA Chairman Stephanie Cheo emphasized the “resilience and transformation” of Singapore’s women entrepreneurs throughout the pandemic. This period brought forth numerous challenges, including personal and mental wellness issues in addition to business trials. Regardless, the women leaders maintained determination and continued pushing forward, demonstrating commendable resilience.

Increase in Female Leadership Roles

According to Low Yen Ling, the Minister of State for Trade and Industry, the proportion of women in leadership roles has seen a marked increase in Singapore. Supported by data from Deloitte, she highlighted that one in eight companies in Singapore currently have a female CEO, a figure that surpasses global benchmarks and is over twice the worldwide average.

Recognition for Business Accomplishments

Althea Lim, co-founder and CEO of Gushcloud International, was bestowed with the overall winner title of the SME category in this year’s awards. She won the judges’ admiration for expanding a Singapore-based company into an internationally recognized entity by strategically diversifying into new revenue streams during the pandemic.

Innovation During the Pandemic

The awards also recognized those who adapted to the pandemic and capitalized on the situation to innovate. One such entrepreneur is Angel Ding of Angliss Singapore. Faced with a 50% drop in revenue, she utilized the surge in e-commerce and home cooking during the pandemic to establish Angliss Marketplace, a Facebook Live show, and sell gourmet ingredients directly to consumers.

Beyond the Award: Membership to Women Entrepreneur Club

WEA 2023 winners received more than just a trophy; they were also granted admission to the Women Entrepreneur Club. This affiliation provides them access to a network of female business leaders, mentorship opportunities, and potential partnerships, amplifying their collective strength and fostering a cooperative community.

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