Some of Hong Kong’s most exciting and innovative start-ups are led by female entrepreneurs. We walk into their busy day, asking for tips that will inspire you to do it yourself. Today we speak to Queenie Man, Founder and CEO of The Project Futurus.
Young entrepreneurs are on the rise as the next generation seeks more professional fulfillment and seeks to impact society – on their own terms. It’s an opportunity to create your own niche, and while there will always be a level of risk you’ll have to take on yourself, nothing beats the joy of finding success as a start-up and doing something. thing you like.
But what does it mean to be a successful entrepreneur? We interview the strongest businesswomen in town about their scalable start-ups and social enterprises.
Queenie Man is the founder of The Project Futurus, a social enterprise promoting the future of aging. The movement’s philosophy is based on the belief that the key to social innovation is to see and feel the world with empathy. Man and his team are committed to creating an “age-positive” and supportive environment through education, advocacy and community service.
Tell us about your business. What are you doing?
The Futurus Project is a social enterprise that promotes the future of ageing. We believe the key to social innovation is seeing and feeling the world with empathy. We are committed to creating a positive and supportive environment for older adults through education, advocacy and community service.
We have a platform and a mascot named “Captain Softmeal” where we regularly hold softmeal-making workshops and create content for caregivers and people with swallowing difficulties. We also visit school campuses to deliver age-positive messages to students.
Tell us about your best and worst day at work.
My best day at work so far was the launch day of our latest community program “Sensory Restaurant on Wheels” (流動五感大茶樓) where we recreated an immersive nostalgic “yum cha” experience for seniors with dementia in nursing homes. The project aims to improve seniors’ appetite, provide cognitive stimulation of the five senses and provide a joyful experience. The first day of launch was most memorable. Not only did they gobble down the freshly made dim sum softmeal, but the elders also moved with the music playing in the background. We were very pleased to see how the seniors responded to our program. It was one of the best days at work.
The worst day at work happened quite recently when the fifth wave of the COVID outbreak took place in early March. Despite our best efforts to protect our elderly residents in our care homes, the majority of our residents and colleagues have contracted COVID, while some seniors have not recovered. This feeling of helplessness and loss of life was certainly the saddest days.
What does a normal working day look like?
In addition to my role in the Futurus Project, I also operate and manage a few residences for the elderly. For me, a typical workday is filled with back-to-back meetings and site visits. I divide my day in two: start early at the nursing home to train the nursing staff, design programs and participate in resident activities. I then return to the studio to meet community collaborators, train staff and teach classes. My day usually ends late at night with content development and video editing projects.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get started?
Have a clear vision and brand focus on what you want to deliver. Surround yourself with people who share your vision. Running a start-up or a social enterprise can sometimes be difficult, think differently and be nimble to seize opportunities that could help your start-up.
What would you do if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
If I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now, I’d probably continue to work as a brand consultant building pitch decks, designing brand strategies, shaping customer experiences, which I still love doing now.
What was your biggest obstacle? How did you overcome it?
My biggest hurdle, which is also a key success factor for any social purpose start-up, would be to have a team of like-minded colleagues who share the same passion and have the tenacity to do the right thing. to achieve the social mission, especially when there is no precedent. Frankly, it hasn’t been easy, but I’ve tried to identify each team member’s strengths and position them in the right role where they can apply their previous experience and knowledge and add value to the work we do.
How practical are you?
I have a typical Type A/ENFP personality where I am very involved in everything I do, from planning to executing. I am practically involved in the day-to-day operations of The Project Futurus. I personally respond to messages on Facebook/Instagram, teach softmeal workshops, write proposals, film and edit videos for Youtube, etc.
how do you define success? Do you consider yourself a success?
For me, success is when I do my best and when I can use my experience to influence and have a positive impact. By the nature of my work, success for me is measured by its social impact – how well the public perceives our work and social mission, how well students understand aging and how it affects them, etc. I am happy that our work is slowly being recognized by the community. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the support and encouragement of our subscribers. My vision is to be able to transform senior care and reinvent the future of aging. I still have a long way to go but I am confident about what lies ahead.