Ding Ding Yip, Co-Founder of Festyle

"Entrepreneurship is like a process of dealing with endless question without any model answers"

Ding Ding Yip

Ding Ding Yip, the co-founder of 妳想煮意 Festyle, created Festyle in 2015 when she was still at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Since her years in university, Ding Ding’s enthusiasm about social innovation and entrepreneurship played a major role in her decision on building her own social enterprise. 

Like most of the students, everything about Festyle began from just a simple idea to help society by observing and spotting social problems. In Ding Ding’s case, she and her teammate discovered the major issue that women and housewives were facing, which is the lacking opportunities of for these women to pursue their career paths and the great dislocation of these women's talents. This observation created the foundation purpose for Festyle to serve the community.

Hence, Festyle was created to employ women and housewives as home-chef with family-friendly working hours by selling a “ready-to-cook package” to city dwellers that have a hectic lifestyle but still enjoy home-cook meals, and offer catering services with large scale production as well. By combining social and commercial value, Festyle provides these women with the opportunities to place their passion, their skill sets, and the life-long cooking experience into where they could create a contributive meaning and gain satisfaction. 

Start before you learnt

Goals and missions are always easier said than done, despite the fact that Ding Ding created a business with funding support that successfully relocate social resources into a profitable value, Ding Ding kindly opened up about the struggles and failures they encountered when they first started, eg the logistic problem and complicated administrative work. Ding Ding revealed the reasons to overcome these failures are no stranger to a lot of young entrepreneurs. Resilience is also the answer for many successful entrepreneurs. “ Never stay in one place and talk your ideas with friends only. Going out to do the dirty work and reaching out for feedback was the first step to building everything,” she explains.

Ding Ding as a young entrepreneur that was no different than the students' audience, also explained the importance of the investment of capital, time, and resources, and her first-hand experience on prototyping and budgeting. Some exclusive tips on market research were shared with HKUST students on how to create a startup.   

Book of inspiration 

Learning how to build a startup can be overwhelming to think of when we need to find where, to begin with. But Ding Ding recommended every entrepreneurial individual to read about the systematic approach of design thinking and the book “Zero to one” by Peter Thiel. 

“ Zero to One” is recommended by a lot of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world including Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Ding Ding emphasized that building a startup company could be understood as a model of business that can be dissected, studied, and understood. “Understanding the methodology behind startup business is super helpful during my experience in building Festyle,” she says.

Student Takeaway

Ding Ding, thank you very much for your inspiring sharing of your entrepreneurial journey. It was really insightful and I am so glad to know that there are existing social enterprises that aims to help housewives. As I am quite passionate on women empowerment, I truly understand the struggle of housewives in pursuing their career path. It is a pity that so many moms have got fantastic culinary skill, but they are being constrained and could not share this skill but only to take care of their family day by day, foregoing their passion and career. Therefore, I truly appreciate your endeavor to empower women by providing them an opportunity to manifest their talent - I guess that's the significance of social entrepreneurship in our society! Thank you, again, very much for your service and wonderful sharing!

Cheung Tin Wing - Student from ENTR 1001 

humillity #resilience Thank you Ding Ding for the talk today. It was quite interesting to see a startup that was similar to what our first startup was for ENTR. I was really able to feel your passion and especially followed your reason for starting this startup which originated from observing the hardships your mother faced. My personal reason was also derived from observations I made when my mom made breakfast for my family. I really liked what your take on success was, especially when you mentioned the hardships and setbacks your startup faced. Another point that I got was how you should try to innovate and adapt to circumstances that come your way. When a company really was interested in having Festyle provide food for an event, it was cool to see how you were able to adapt to these new demands and create a catering service. It prompted me to think about taking into consideration the different paths of innovation one could take depending on the nature of their startup. All in all, definitely was one of the more relatable talks.

Seung-Yeol Yoon - Student from ENTR 1001 

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