Using software to change the lives of women agripreneurs
Yvone Foong is the founder of Chektec, a software service for mobile checks, inspections, value chain traceability and sustainability. It also integrates workplace health, safety and environment practices with data insights, and is able to track both assets and actions.
Chektec was the winner of the Grow Asia Hackthon (multi-stakeholders ASEAN, Association of Southeast Asian Nations) for Agritech Traceability and Sustainability, selected by Shell IdeaRefinery (Startup Engine) for the Energy sector, 2nd Runner Up for A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) ARTC’s (Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre) Startup Challenge. Chektec’s mobile application was also awarded the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label and the company has featured interviews on MoneyFM89.3, CNA938.
How did Chektec start?
My incredible team and I started in the healthcare space where we were solving problems and challenges put forward by organizations that were looking at solutions to engage users on mobile platforms. From there, we expanded into workplace safety, health, environment and sustainability solutions. We’ve established a number of B2B networks, and from there we grew and developed software enterprise systems for different industry sectors.
What are some of the challenges currently facing women agripreneurs?
There are many challenges facing the industry right now – and women agripreneurs are never usually in the foreground as an active discussion point. SMEs and small businesses are fighting for survival, and it’s tough to have conversations on how we can benefit women agripreneurs.
How do we resolve this issue and bring women into the foreground?
First, we need to actively speak about the issue. We need to actively showcase how companies are supporting women in the workplace.
Second, we need to create a model and a system that works – whether it’s in technology, agriculture, or transport and logistics. We need to ensure that there are models in place to support women and a system that supports its active and consistent implementation .
Finally, we need to use data to demonstrate the benefits that women bring to the workforce. Calculate the investment made in women farmers and the return on this investment. Then, calculate the extended and valuable impact of women farmers and their businesses have on the community. Add all that up, and it will really highlight the benefits of empowering women agripreneurs and drive home their importance.
What advice do you have for other female entrepreneurs?
My advice to other female entrepreneurs is to understand the fundamental differences between self-confidence and self-esteem. Self-confidence is linked to your abilities, so it really varies – whereas self-esteem is part of your values system. It is such an integral part of you, and it deals with your relationships with people, the world and your externalities. Self-esteem is the engine which drives and shapes our choices – whether that’s around your business, your investments or how much you invest in yourself. It also shapes how you deal with success, failure and rejection.
It’s important to remember that we are not born with self-esteem. You need to build it every single day. It’s fundamentally important, because self-esteem is part of your power.
This story was first published as a LinkedIn video by WOMAG. It has been edited here for clarity and consistency.