Wittenborg University proud to see its female students progress as entrepreneurs.
Bertha Carolina Tanaem
Bertha Carolina Tanaem is a senior majoring in International Trade Logistics. Inspired by her father’s entrepreneurial spirit, Bertha followed her dream of starting her own business while being a student at Wittenborg, and followed in her father’s footsteps. Passionate about design and fashion, Bertha saw an opportunity to promote local Indonesian fabrics through creating a handbag collection.
Bertha says, “Many people know about Indonesian batik but not many realise that Indonesia has a vast amount of cultures and fabrics. The idea was always there but I didn’t know how I wanted it to be done. After testing the creation process of one bag, I gained more knowledge about business processes and took it as an opportunity to start brainstorming for a business plan.” Bertha saw potential in her business idea and acted on impulse to make it happen. Bertha’s business is about the creation of handbags that promote local Indonesian woven fabrics and styles across the world.
Asked about her brand, she sums it up as: “Sustaining woven culture through modern fashion. Every pattern represents a different story and a different culture.” At the end of the interview Bertha mentions that in order to be a successful entrepreneur “collaboration is key”, and she highlights her pragmatic approach in two words: “Do It”.
Hanne Skauge Garnvik
Hanne Skauge Garnvik graduated from Wittenborg with a degree in Entrepreneurship & Small Business. Since a young age, Hanne has enjoyed make-up and skin care, and she combined her passion for cosmetics and her boyfriend’s knowledge in online marketing into a franchise of the Norwegian skin care company, Marina Miracle, in the Netherlands. The duo’s entrepreneurial spirit, paired with their specific industrial know-how, led to exclusive sales rights in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Hanne’s view on why she chose skin care as a business opportunity and the challenges to start a business: “Franchising the business did come with challenges. The biggest challenge during the initial setup phase was financing the company composition”. Hanne was living on a student budget and required more investment to realise her business plan. The couple decided to take the risk, initiative, and to move to the next business phase. In addition, Hanne continued to advise students with an interest in the entrepreneurial career path to follow their dreams. “You don’t need to be the most vocal person in the room, it’s about how you translate your thoughts into ideas and plans”. Hanne’s company excelled and recently received 8 international beauty awards from “Beauty Shortlist”. Customer feedback drives Hanne to keep going and makes her feel fulfilled and immensely proud.
Originally inspired by how Indonesians honoured their culture through clothing, this entrepreneur wanted to change mindsets in Malaysia and show how to make traditional clothing a modern fashion. Nadia Zaman is finalising her Master in International Event Management. Originally she is from Malaysia and has always had the entrepreneurial energy running in her veins. She made her first experiences in baking cupcakes and brownies and now runs a men’s clothing company.
Nadia’s brand originated 10 years ago from her travels in Indonesia. There she fell in love with how people embrace their culture through clothing and wanted to transfer this to Malaysia. In 2017, Nadia first started by investing in a few clothes and sold them in Indonesia. It took only a week for 20 to be sold and from that Nadia saw the potential in her business idea. The biggest challenge that Nadia recalls was finding the right target market that will buy the product. She poses the question: “You can fantasise about flying cars, but can you do all the work to make it happen?” It was not a straightforward decision to be in the fashion industry but something about the fabrics and colours connected with Nadia. When asked about what is key to getting business growth, she replies, “Networking”. Her network has already enabled her to position the brand at 3 different boutiques in Malaysia.
by Romeissa Laib
©Wittenborg University Press