Elim Chew, 51, Entrepreneur and Founder of 77th Street

Never-say-die: This is the attitude that Elim Chew has adopted and carried with her throughout her entrepreneurial journey.

From humble beginnings as founder of streetwear label, 77th Street, she revolutionised the streetwear scene, bagged dozens of accolades while she was at it, and has become a driving force for local entrepreneurship.

Elim is now gunning to be “a big logistics player” with her latest venture, FastFast Delivery app.

Apart from FastFast, Elim is also involved in the birth of a culinary empire with her I’m KIM Korean BBQ and GoroGoro Steamboat restaurants, Elim is a study on how to evolve and improve as an entrepreneur according to market needs.

Pretty impressive for someone who was almost written off by her teachers as a child. “In school, I used to get F’s all the time but I didn’t let it get me down,” she reveals.

“I’ve since collected a lots more F’s in my life. F for fashion, F for FastFast app, F for F&B and F for fish because my family have invested in fish farming in Indonesia. So getting an F isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be!”

While her business ventures have been lucrative to say the least, Elim is quick to point out that she’d rather her various companies make a social impact rather than make money.

“Everything starts from the heart. Equally as important as doing well is doing some good in the world, so I’ve always tried to remember the less fortunate even when chasing success,” she says.

She contemplates her next sentence thoughtfully before saying, “Money is neutral, it’s what you do with the money you make that matters.”

“I love helping people so the way I look at my businesses is like this: As long as one life is impacted for the better through my platform, then that’s my job done, that’s where I get my greatest satisfaction,” adds Elim.

The 51-year-old has extended that message beyond Singapore’s borders to reach as many young people and women as she can.

The business-savvy entrepreneur gives regular motivational talks throughout Southeast Asia where she continuously strives to empower people who she hopes will be the future change makers of the world.

Words to live by: “There’s no shortage to what you can do, you only need to take that first step.”

Next up: “I’m going to be focusing more on ElimChewTV on YouTube, where we can educate people on social entrepreneurship through the power of social media. It will feature people from different fields around the world who are making a positive impact in society through their work.”

The Great Women Of Our Time 2017 is proudly presented by Lancôme.