Kartina’s story

Kartina joined our Mentoring Women in Business programme as a mentee in 2012, matched with mentor Catrin. After graduating, they reflect on their journey together.




Malaysia and Spain

Now I can see my future clearly. My life and financial freedom are slowly becoming great.

Kartina, beauty salon Founder, and mentee

As a single mother with two children in Malaysia, Kartina had searched at length to find suitable work to support her family. When she joined the Mentoring Women in Business Programme in 2012, she had just launched a hair and beauty business a month earlier and was travelling to her customers’ homes to offer her services. Although this was great progress, her dream was to open her own beauty salon and hairdressing school. She joined the programme wanting to work with a mentor to help build her ICT skills, grow her young business and find ways to market her services more widely.

Relationship focus

Kartina was matched with Catrin, a Swedish hair and make-up consultant in Spain. Together, they began working on expanding Kartina’s client base, promoting her home-based beauty services and building a strategy to achieve Kartina’s goal of opening her own salon. Catrin offered critical support, helping to build Kartina’s confidence and focus her energy and vision on achieving her goals. She also assisted with some more practical issues, such as building a robust marketing strategy and teaching Kartina a range of new beauty techniques.

Through a partnership between the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ and Maxis, Kartina used a tablet and data plan to promote her business online, communicate with her mentor and build vital connections with her customers.

Kartina, beauty salon Founder, and mentee

Kartina’s reflections

During her year in the programme, Kartina’s business grew from strength to strength as she noted a higher demand for her services, especially during the holiday periods, her client base steadily expanded to include returning customers and her revenue increased 30 fold. Kartina also managed to secure a scholarship to attend a hair and beauty training course to further build her skills.

Since graduating from the programme, Kartina has gone on to successfully open her own salon and launch her own line of beauty products. She’s also achieved her dream of opening a training centre and supporting other women, which has been certified by the Malaysian government and employs two members of staff.

Kartina said of her experience, “Now I can see my future clearly. My life and financial freedom are slowly becoming great.”

Looking forward, she hopes to help other women, including single mothers like herself, to become financially independent.

Find out more about our global Mentoring programme

Mentoring Women in Business is one of the Foundation's three flagship programmes. We pair businesspeople everywhere as mentors with women entrepreneurs in low and middle income countries as mentees for an incredibly rich, personalised, cross-border, online experience. This is transformative for mentees and mentors alike—and their companies.

Find out more!
Emily Quinn works with her mentee in a video call.