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Tuesday 14-Nov-2017
【The Standard】Power to the parents

In the old days, many parents aspire their children to become professionals in the banking, accounting, law, medicine and engineering sectors, all deemed safe occupations. 

 

However, as the generations of thinkers and innovators evolved seeking better ways to improve the quality of life, the start-up scene has exploded globally. In Hong Kong, the start-up scene lagged behind China but with various start-up initiatives by the Government and private sector through co-working spaces and funding programs, the wave of entrepreneurship has risen exponentially.

 

When we think about the term "start- up", we often picture young adults in their early 20s, bursting with enthusiasm and innovative ideas. However, start-ups have no real age boundaries but rather anyone who has a great idea, conviction, passion and willingness to take the risk to make it a reality. 

 

Of course, not all start-ups are successful but the idea of being able to dream big and work towards making it a reality is what makes a start-up exciting.

 

Launched earlier this year by local mum, Jennifer Chin, Whizpa.com features honest reviews of kids' education, activities, products and services providers throughout Hong Kong. The aim is to empower parents to pinpoint the best options for others and use impartial information to help them make their decisions in an easy, simple and hassle-free way.

 

Having spent the last 10 years striving to find the best ways to provide a well-rounded, quality education for her two eldest children (now aged 12 and 14), Chin found herself faced with the task of repeating the process all over again with her youngest child (aged two). Like many Hong Kong parents, she wanted to ensure her children gained an education that is fulfilling and rewarding. 

 

However, sifting through countless websites to find the right school or activity for each child was a stressful task. She often had to rely on word of mouth among other parents (who also had similar frustration at finding relevant information online) and trial and error in narrowing down the right classes.

 

After spending 20 years working in investment banking and education, Chin decided to pursue her passion. Within just two months, Whizpa.com had raised around US$8,000 (HK$62,400) - surpassing its US$5,000 funding goal via the female entrepreneur crowdfunding platform, Next Chapter. 

 

She then began developing her website which enables parents to access and share all the information they needed in one place. 

 

Her determination and resilience are perhaps attributable to her own UK boarding school education, which emphasizes on such values. 

 

After gaining a secondary school education at Malvern Girls College (now known as Malvern St James School for Girls), Jennifer graduated from the University of Cambridge with a B Eng and M Eng in Electrical Engineering in 1998. 

 

As Chin has shown, although it is often said that we do things differently during various stages of our lives, entrepreneurship and education will always be relevant to us all. 

 

 

Mabel Chan is a principal consultant at Britannia StudyLink. www.facebook.com/lucyqna

Original Article: http://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news.php?id=189555&fc=12

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Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.

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Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.

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MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

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