Anna Haotanto
Anna Haotanto Anna Haotanto

Singapore is one of the leading hotspots for financial tech thanks to flexible regulation plus national initiatives to fund startups and integrate blockchain innovation into the local economy. American venture capitalists at the Ethereal Summit in New York praised Singapore as a ripe market, teeming with collaboration between entrepreneurs, regulators, banks and investors. The small island nation wants more than a high-tech economy: Singapore aims to become a global fintech hub.

The Economist reported the Monetary Authority of Singapore is collaborating on fintech initiatives with several Middle Eastern nations, including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Meanwhile, a small fintech firm called CCRManager Pte. Ltd., which is backed by Singapore’s central bank, launched a trailblazing digital platform for international finance trading. One Singapore FinTech Association member, in particular, tends to stand out in photos of local entrepreneurs: Anna Haotanto.

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Haotanto is a self-made millionaire determined to make fintech more accessible for Asian women. Her online media startup, the New Savvy, targets women investors by providing 30,000 Asian subscribers with finance and career guidance. This is no ordinary women’s publication. Forbes reported her team partners with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Far East Organization to produce pragmatic content.

Singapore FinTech Association
Singapore FinTech Association Singapore FinTech Association

“I hope to have more women in fintech and lower the gender disparity,” she told the International Business Times. Hoatanto worked as an Asian account manager for BMI Research’s wealth management clients before striking out on her own in Singapore’s startup scene. Although her family once lived paycheck to paycheck, Hoatanto, a former waitress, became a millionaire before she was 30. Volunteer work with domestic abuse victims inspired her to prioritize women’s economic independence above all else.

“Women are at a very interesting juncture in history,” she told IBT. “We are earning more, progressing further in our careers, yet still lagging behind men in financial literacy. Women control most of the household expenditures, yet we save and invest much less than men.”

So her company organized the Future Is Female conference in April, along with SGX, attended by 250 women. Many of them expressed interest in investment resources. So Haotanto’s startup is now developing online courses and finance workshops. When she’s not working on the New Savvy, Haotanto stays busy as the director of the private investment firm Tera Capital. She estimates Singapore is home to around 350 fintech startups. Some of them are women-led startups in which Haotanto herself has invested although she declined to specify which ones.

All things considered, Haotanto has a little piece of advice for women who want to learn more about fintech and money management. “Empower yourself financially through education and knowledge,” she said. “Don’t be afraid, don’t invest blindly and never put your future or finances in someone else’s hands.”

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