Finalist, Young Entrepreneur of the Year
“I believe learning can change people’s lives. That’s why I devote myself to work as an entrepreneur in the education sector, to help the future pillars of society.”
Wanting to make a positive contribution to society, Viola left a promising and stable career at an event company to set up her own tutoring business.
Viola runs a distinctive tutoring institution in Hong Kong that specializes in a unique way of teaching maths. Her self-created teaching methods uses visual learning – using image memorization as opposed to rote learning – making use of info graphs, flowcharts and pictures for a much more enjoyable and effective learning experience.
An important aspect of Viola’s tutoring centre that sets her apart from her competitors is the free online maths platform, called Star Programme, she has developed. These online tutorials teach methods of maths calculation, alongside practice questions. She believes that every child should be treated fairly and equally, and her online study platform has already benefited 300,000 local students. The Star Programme is also an online platform for staff and teacher to have e-learning and for parents to update their children study progress.
“In a traditional Chinese family, girls are inferior. Both I and my sister had little financial support starting from secondary school.” In order to continue her studies and take care of her sister, Viola started working as a tutor at the age of 16, so she knows first-hand the effort and struggles of succeeding academically.
After graduating from university she held a high paying job at an event company, but eventually decided to quit in order to open up her own tutoring centre. “For most fresh graduates, these would be promising careers with a relatively high and stable salary. However, they didn’t give me any satisfaction. My work made no contribution to society. My happiness came from teaching children.”
She created her business in 2011, and already the company employs 20 people.
Viola doesn’t want to stop with just one tutoring centre as she intends to start franchising in Hong Kong, eventually branching out to cover mainland China. So far she has opened two additional franchisee shops that teach her method of visual learning, with tutors trained by Viola’s team using provided teaching materials in order to ensure teaching quality.
Additionally, Viola and her team are hard at work developing the largest maths database in Asia, which they are going to start selling to schools starting September 2014.
“Being an entrepreneur is not easy. Though I was employed for a few years before starting my own business, my savings were still insufficient to open an education centre as it required huge sums of money for rental office equipment, teaching materials etc. “
Youth Business Hong Kong, a member of Youth Business International, provided essential tools to jumpstart Viola’s tutoring centre, supplying Viola with a loan to purchase necessary hardware, and matching her with a mentor who helped her manage her company from its early stages. “Under his guidance and advice, I was able to set up an internal management system which was vital for the future development of my education centre.”
YBHK’s promotional channels such as exhibitions and networking events gave FS Education the media coverage and exposure Viola needed to create a better awareness of her program, which led to an influx of interested parents who wanted to know more about her unique teaching method.
Viola shares her love of teaching by leading trainee programs, offering work experience for local students who aspire to pursue careers in the education sector. Viola knows the hardships of being a student, so she is always eager to share her innovative teaching method, and train more tutors that will in turn, benefit more children.
Viola continues to hold free training workshops to share her unique style of teaching, and her continuous persistence and passion to successfully run her own business has led her to become an YBHK ambassador, who regularly speaks at events and shares her personal entrepreneurial experiences.
More info on the Star Programme:
Star Programme is an online learning platform. It provides different exercises, teaching videos and mini games for primary and secondary students, aiming to improve their Mathematical skills. It also has a prefect system on assessing students’ abilities.