Jazz Tan Yee Mei, 27, lost her father through a tragic murder when she was just the age of 14. Since then, she needed to support herself and her mother, eventually becoming one of the most successful Malaysian entrepreneurs for Forbes‘ 30 under 30 Asia.
“In order to survive, I learned how to manage my money, prioritize tasks, and juggle between my work and studies. I learned how to communicate because I had to convince employers to let a 14-year-old girl work for them,” she said.
Despite facing new challenges and obstacles, she managed to excel in her studies. She earned and secured a scholarship from KDU and pursued Computer Science.
However, her journey into the world of entrepreneurship was entirely unplanned. It all started when she helped her friends organize a musical event.
“That musical event was for a fundraising purpose. To rent a hall, I was told by the person-in-charge that I needed to use a company or an NGO’s name. That’s how I established my first company at the age of 18.”
Steadily growing and learning from each and every one of her clients, she eventually gained enough human and financial capital to found YouthsToday.com. Since November of 2011, her website has helped “young Malaysians find ideal sponsors to fund their events and simultaneously motivated youngsters in a mission to keep them off the streets.”
Jazz says that everyone is “young only once in a lifetime” and that kids should take the opportunity of time to their advantage, and use it to change themselves and their communities.
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