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APEC Women Connect “Her Power” Entrepreneurship Competition Announces Winners

The fourth annual APEC Women Connect “Her Power” Entrepreneurship Competition came to a close recently, wrapping up a successful four-month season of building up and empowering a new batch of over 1,300 aspiring women entrepreneurs and influencers who represent the entire gamut from nano- to mega-sized platforms.

Co-hosted by cross-border e-commerce company DHgate, social commerce platform MyyShop, and women empowerment organizations The Inner Mountain Foundation and APEC Women Connect, the “Her Power” Entrepreneurship Competition invited women e-tailers to show off their social commerce capabilities through competitive challenges focused on boosting their product sales and social awareness. Participants also learned about the many facets of social commerce (such as social media marketing) through exclusive e-learning sessions with key mentors from partner organizations.

Hear from the “Her Power” inaugural speakers

The fourth “Her Power” Entrepreneurship Competition Awards Ceremony kicked off with inaugural remarks by Julia Torreblanca, the APEC Business Advisory Council Chair for 2024, as well as a keynote speech by DHGATE Group Founder, Chairperson and CEO Diane Wang. Next came two panel discussions, two showcase presentations and the presentation of three types of prestigious awards to 23 winners.

“When we intentionally introduce digital empowerment to women and SMEs, we unlock a powerful force for positive change,” Torreblanca said. “Supporting women entrepreneurs and SMEs with the right skills and access to technology not only strengthens their individual capabilities but also contributes to the overall growth of the SME sector. This symbiotic relationship creates a ripple effect, fostering economic empowerment at both the individual and community levels.”

Diane Wang expanded on this sentiment in her keynote speech: “Having been a part of the tech industry for three decades, I have seen how technology and digital tools, especially for women, can be transformative. The digital economy has significantly lowered the barriers to entrepreneurship, enabling women from various backgrounds to pursue their dreams. This equal opportunity is a game-changer.

“To further amplify this impact, I have initiated several projects aimed at empowering women in the digital economy, including training programs and global entrepreneurship competitions,” Diane said. “Our projects have reached over 100,000 women across 51 countries, showcasing the untapped potential of women worldwide waiting to be realized through digital empowerment.”

23 entrepreneurs commended for inspirational business and personal growth

Three “AWC Her Power Queen” World Champions represented the participants who had the highest sales quantity and social media engagement and most unique story angles. There were 20 awards in two “Rising Star” categories this year, representing the “Best Inner Mountain Power Queens” and the “Best MyyShop Influencer Queens” of the competition.

The fourth “Her Power” Entrepreneurship Competition marks the first year for the Inner Mountain award. The Inner Mountain Foundation is a newly launched organization promoting women empowerment around the world. Developed with The Inner Mountain Foundation, this award recognizes participants with the most progress realizing their inner strength.

The Inner Mountain Foundation fosters a community of like-minded women who can lead, nurture, and inspire those around them. These foundation provides access to various entrepreneurial resources, mentorship, training, information, support, recognition, and even funding for women-owned businesses.

“AWC Her Power Queen” Award Winners

–       World Champion: Sabrina Eshaq (@nnarrgiss)
–       World Champion: Ericka Sutton (@itsme234girl)
–       World Champion: Tiffany James (@tiiffxny)

“Best MyyShop Influencer Queen” Award Winners

“Best Inner Mountain Power Queen” Award Winners

Empowering women through digital literacy e-learning

The awards ceremony featured two-panel discussions focused on educational topics. The first panel emphasized the importance of enhancing one’s digital skills, presented by Microsoft China Senior Program Manager Melinda Ma, along with DHGATE Group’s Vice President of Global Business Development Justin Hu and Vice President of Logistics Supply Chain Shawn Liu.

The second panel, “Empower Women Inner Light”, invited Lean In China co-founder Leiya Lei, International Association of Women President Megan Bozzuto and SHERO Initiative co-founder Rita Chao. The panel discussed the overarching theme of the “Her Power” competition: women’s empowerment in entrepreneurship.

Two “My Journey to Digital Proficiency” showcase presentations highlighted three stories from two programs in the China chapter of The Inner Mountain Foundation. The first story came from the organization’s pioneering “Women Going Global” program. The program, presented by The Inner Mountain Foundation member Qiuling Zhuang, targets female entrepreneurs and business leaders in cross-border industries.

These presentations built upon the “Her Power” Entrepreneurship Competition itself, focused on cross-disciplinary e-learning courses. These courses are related to improving social commerce skills. Topics included cross-border e-commerce, sales on social media, novel shopping experience strategies, cultivating a sales persona and securing financing. All of the learning content catered specifically to Gen Z, to further empower young entrepreneurs from any background.

Other attendees of the “Her Power” ceremony

In addition to the people mentioned above, other attendees of this year’s “Her Power” Entrepreneurship Competition Awards Ceremony included:

  • Danning Zhang, from HEBE Group
  • Steffi Sun, from Quadrant Lab
  • Rui & Francisico, winners of the third “Her Power” competition
  • Tom Tran & Phuong Hoang, winners of the third “Her Power” competition
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