Liyana
Dhamirah

Founder, Virtual Assistants Singapore

Senior Programme Executive, AWARE

“I started first by learning how to create a website online and shortly after, I found myself neck-deep in javascript and loving it. This was also the moment when I realised that I stumbled upon a skill that I had no idea of and never got a chance to learn during my school days. This was the period that spurred my curiosity for technology and how it can help me grow my first small business to support my three young children.”

Success is being able to celebrate the milestones and small achievements in what we continuously strive for and seeing positive change in the women we work with through the data we capture.

Success to me is also the growing nature of my current roles, in both my entrepreneurship and employment journey. In personally acknowledging that I can’t change the world alone or overnight. In being okay with that yet still retaining the energy to continue. In consistently putting in the hard work while setting time to have fun and enjoy life along the way.
I would credit the inspiration to the first international student I got to know during my first try at selling handcrafted pieces. I was a single mother at the time; we were strangers and I couldn’t remember her name but she was my first foreign customer. I met her when I was selling under the void deck of my rental flat. She bought a pair of my crochet earrings at SGD$10, and asked me if I had a website or a blog for my wares. On that very day, I worked towards a budget to procure a secondhand laptop with dongle and prepaid data sim card – this would allow me to access the internet at any time.

I started first by learning how to create a website online and shortly after, I found myself neck-deep in javascript and loving it. This was also the moment when I realised that I stumbled upon a skill that I had no idea of and never got a chance to learn during my school days. This was the period that spurred my curiosity for technology and how it can help me grow my first small business to support my three young children.
Poverty. I came from humble beginnings and a single-parent household. I was exposed to the harsh realities of what I would not want in my ideal world and a future that I would not wish my children to grow up in. Though life is now more comfortable for my family and I, I am nowhere near where I envisioned to be. I continue to strive to grow and push myself to get there.
Being regarded as a professional from the get-go or on first impressions. I still face occasions where I have to prove my knowledge, skills and worth.
I would say: “Get more sleep and eat well Liyana! The codes can wait and you’ll figure the missing <>/:. Also, to the men who ridicule you and to all the naysayers that tell you that you can’t do it, just ignore them and smile.”
Continuing the work in helping businesses and non-profit organisations with their digitalisation efforts while striving to get a seat in Singapore’s parliament.