Dubai, UAE; 17 February 2020: The youngest CEO in the world said she wishes to change the world with her own language- learning application that can help expand children’s perspectives on various topics and promote tolerance.
15-year-old Hillary Yip, who founded MinorMynas, told the audience at the Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020 on Monday that by connecting children from more than 60 countries on her educational app, she hopes to widen their knowledge on topics they are passionate about and create more understanding between cultures.
Yip spoke as part of the Game-Changers Session, which aimed to showcase inspiring personal stories from women who have made great strides across industries.
Speaking about MinorMynas, which helps children learn languages by chatting on live video calls with their peers, she said: I expected the application to be centered on languages, but it surprised me to see kids connecting from all around the world, making friendships and even engaging in conversations that went far beyond language learning.”
“Children are using the application to learn things from coding to discussing issues like bullying and autism,” she added.
The young Honk Kong entrepreneur said she launched the app after struggling to learn Mandarin. “My journey began almost five years ago at the age of 10 when I came across a kids
entrepreneurship competition and I was intrigued. We had to come up with an idea that we thought could change the world.”
She was later able to pitch at a huge government-led start-up event, and that’s when her project came to life.
Yip said she believed her product could potentially solve the screen time problem and allow children to learn and teach at the same time. She added that many children were using the app to learn things beyond the classroom curricula and delve deeper into topics they were personally passionate about.
“Human connection has been a crucial part of the app, and adults sometimes have underestimated the power of giving children a platform,” she said.
Yip gave an example of children connecting through the app to discuss the recent coronavirus outbreak. “Children discussed everything from how to stay safe and the reasons they had to stay home, to how their parents were dealing with the crisis.”
“Kids were paying attention to the world around them and were using the app to actively help other kids,” she said, noting that the app takes important safety measures to keep children safe while using it.
Yip added that the diversity of users on the application will help increase understanding of different viewpoints, cultures and ideas. “When we deal with problems, having a wide sweep of opinions can help. Understanding viewpoints of others and coming to productive conclusions can heal divides.”
In the future, she said she plans to work with other online vendors to bring more formalized learning on the application to increase the knowledge.
“In our second version, which is in its final stages, we plan to launch parent communities since exchange between an international group of parents doesn’t exist today,” she said.
“When I started with the app five years ago, I wanted to make language learning easier. Now I see this as the beginning of something much larger,” she added
Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020 was organised by Dubai Women Establishment, which is led by Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and wife of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Building on its theme, ‘The Power of Influence’, Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020 highlighted how effective policies and partnerships in four key areas – Government, Economy, Society, and the Future – can further women’s positive impact for a better future.