Spotlight: Audrey Tan Fighting To Create A World Without Poverty

In 2008, Audrey co-founded PlayMoolah — a social enterprise that equips children, parents, and young adults with money management skills. Shortly thereafter, she co-founded her second social enterprise, Angels of Impact, that provides support to female entrepreneurs in order to alleviate poverty.

While her companies are secular ones, Audrey’s aim is simple: serving the poor and loving them through Jesus. Because of that, she unceasingly offers her daily tasks up to the Lord in prayer, even having a daily Tea time with Jesus set aside as part of her routine! Her passion was truly contagious as I sat down with her for an hour’s conversation and walked away inspired and refreshed.

Hi Audrey! What do you think you are known for?
Hi! Well, my middle name is Joy, and that’s what a lot of my peers describe me as — someone who is very joyful and positive. And adventurous too! Often times they will ask me, “When is the next time you are going away? Are you going to be in Singapore for the long run?”

If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
It would be Jesus Christ. He is the one Saviour and my best friend. If I could actually meet Him, that would be awesomely cool! But having said that, we are able to meet Him daily in prayer and devotion too!

What made you start PlayMoolah?
What is it about? During the global financial crisis in 2008, my co-founder Min Xuan and I started reflecting on what was happening in the world. We realised that a lot of families were not equipped with money skills! Instead of enabling kids to play games like Club Penguin (an online computer game) that largely revolves around consumerism, we decided to come up with alternatives to get kids to learn about money in a fun way.

We often say that money is closely linked to one’s identity: how you look, what you wear, what you buy. Over time, our identities are based on wanting material things. But the truth is that our identities are first and foremost children of God! PlayMoolah emphasises that money is just a tool and it can be used for the greater purpose that one is called to.

OUR AIM IS TO CREATE A WORLD WITHOUT POVERTY

What is the link between PlayMoolah and Angels of Impact then?
As part of my work with PlayMoolah, I was asked to teach some slum kids in Indonesia. Coming from a city of abundance, what we saw was really heartbreaking. Just 100m from where the children were living was burning trash, and many have no choice but to go out to the streets and beg. It is completely undignified to live that way, and that encounter really left a very deep seed in me. God showed me His love for the poor. It was almost like a calling to do more and impact the poor.

I started Angels of Impact with my co-founder, Laina. Our families come from humble beginnings and our parents worked hard to provide us with access to food and education. We both have a deep passion for poverty alleviation and wanted to go beyond ourselves to serve the poor.

So what does Angels of Impact do?
Our aim is to create a world without poverty and unity with women. Our mission is to fund women entrepreneurs as they often receive smaller amounts of funding. Secondly, Angels of Impact also supports women entrepreneurs by linking them up with customers who want to obtain their products in a more responsible way.

What are your highest and lowest points in your journey thus far?
You know, the thing about entrepreneurship is that it looks glamorous but it is not. One of my lowest points was when I decided to take a back seat from PlayMoolah and have a leadership renewal. It felt like I was giving up my baby! But on hindsight, I learnt to let the organisation grow beyond me. One of the highest points would be getting Angels of Impact running. Despite our challenges, it has been one of my greatest satisfactions. It is surreal that we are working with eight women entrepreneurs by helping them with fundraising. We even had a book launch that just happened not long ago! I feel like my dream is coming alive and God is affirming this calling!

What were some sacrifices you made along the way?
I find that for entrepreneurs, one of the biggest challenges is knowing when to stop and have sufficient rest, recreation, and to live in moderation. One of the sacrifices that we make is that we devote so much time to our life’s mission and end up neglecting other things. One reminder is that I am but a mere steward. God does not need me to do anything; He can get things done by Himself, but He gifted me with Angels of Impact so that I can get to know Him more!

What’s on your heart for this generation of girls?
As girls, we can step up and stand up for other girls. We are in an environment where criticism comes by easily more than encouragement, so let’s build each other up for the greater kingdom of God.

Also, for a discerning heart for the Lord’s will. I am reminded of the song Hosanna by Hillsong United: “I see a generation, rising up to take their place with selfless praise/I see a near revival stirring as we pray and seek, we’re on our knees.” This is key as in 1 John 5:14-15, it says that “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him.” With many more young people discerning God’s will in their career and education choices, we can truly be a generation who seeks after the heart of Jesus. To love and serve His people — especially the poor.

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