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This 18-Year-Old Social Entrepreneur Already Has Two Startups Under Her Belt

She’s also an international conference speaker.
CHUA, Phuay Khin [Jessica]
16 Apr 2021, 09:00 AM
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this 18-year-old social entrepreneur already has two startups under her belt

Image via Harsha Ravindran

While most of us can only recall either studying hard or playing hard when we were in school, this 18-year-old dived into the world of entrepreneurs even before she became a teenager. This is the story of Harsha Ravindran, a social entrepreneur and international conference speaker, who’s one of the unsung heroes in the DIGIyin Saathanai Hero-kkal campaign.

At a tender age of 11, she began her journey in entrepreneurship after attending a weekly talk by ETA Ideas, a social business incubator that offers guidance and exposure to the working world.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Harsha (@actuallyharsha)

After meeting different people who ran million-dollar businesses as well as young entrepreneurs, she learned important lessons and values that were helpful to her even as a student at the time.

By the time she hit 12 years old, she became a top scorer in class, formed better relationships with people around her, participated in various competitions and sports tournaments, and received a scholarship worth RM150,000 to study at an international school.

Harsha decided to share everything she learned at ET Ideas and rope in other youths she met there to form Ascendance, a youth development platform that aims to help young people achieve holistic success and create sustainable careers for themselves while in school.

To date, Ascendance has impacted over 4,300 youths around the country and developed six full-fledged startups run by young people aged between eight and 18 years old! The team has also worked with the Ministry of Education in Malaysia to help transform the lives of disengaged students.

this 18-year-old social entrepreneur already has two startups under her belt

Image via The Star

Throughout her experience, Harsha found that the skills she was learning as a young entrepreneur actually helped her academically, namely in areas like time management, communication, problem-solving, responsibility, and more.

As the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Ascendance, she treated this as a training ground for her to learn how to become more efficient.

But the Malaysian youth movement is not her only venture, she also founded another startup called StartMyName, a platform that creates personalised websites for individuals to give them a distinct online brand and identity.

She discovered her interest in designing websites after being tasked to do so at a company she was interning at when she was 13. She found that there were many people who couldn’t afford to create their own website to boost credibility because it could cost a lot to get it done professionally. So, she started her own company to fill that void.

Harsha’s achievements have caught the attention of many professionals in the industry and has been invited to speak at three TED Talks and other international platforms and conferences on topics like social entrepreneurship, youth development, Gen Z in the workforce, just to name a few.

She was also rewarded for her contributions after receiving The Diana Award in 2019 for Young Changemakers in humanitarian and social work.

Let us remind you that this girl is only 18! To celebrate her 18th birthday, she published her own book titled The Makings of A Teenage Entrepreneur to document her experiences over the years as a teenage entrepreneur. In her writing, she hopes to guide her peers in finding their passion and turning it into successful careers while they’re still studying.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Harsha (@actuallyharsha)

Harsha has a whole lifetime ahead of her to achieve so much more and we can’t wait to see what else life has in store for her.

As part of the DIGIyin Saathanai Hero-kkal campaign, we’re constantly looking to share stories of Malaysian ‘superheroes’ that live amongst us.

this 18-year-old social entrepreneur already has two startups under her belt

If you know a hero or if you have an inspirational story about overcoming challenges, we’d love to hear from you. Just submit your story at RAAGA’s website or click the image above.

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