FinTech Female Fridays: Meet CEO & Co-Founder, Ennie Lim
Updated: Mar 31, 2021
This CEO and Co-Founder’s career is one of a truly passionate activist, well-versed in running a company with a social mission. An immigrant from Malaysia, Ennie Lim has experienced financial hardships first-hand and is working to build financial education and confidence in underserved communities. Ennie opened up about her journey to where she is today, her day-to-day schedule, her love of wine, and her guilty pleasure The Bachelor.
Full name: Ennie Lim
Current job title: CEO & Co-Founder
Current location: Los Angeles, CA
Works from: Home
“I'm most excited about the ability to provide more people with easy access to the financial services they need”
CEO Ennie Lim has always been passionate about helping underserved communities. Ennie previously designed, manufactured, and marketed sustainable baby products to support working women in South America. Although she eventually sold that business, she learned a lot about what it takes to run a company with a social mission.
Ennie has since gone on to her current venture, a financial health and wellbeing startup called HoneyBee, where employers sponsor 100% of the program's cost. She co-founded HoneyBee in 2016, and they are now helping working Americans improve their financial health and habits with access to confidential money therapy, no-cost rainy day funds, and financial education.
Research from Washington University of St. Louis found that 89% of HoneyBee users are people of color, women, or both. The full report will be published next month in honor of Financial Literacy Month.
“We're working to remove barriers to affordable credit and provide accessible financial therapy and education. Historically, and quite honestly currently, non-white and female borrowers have had difficulty getting access to inexpensive credit.”
HoneyBee is changing that, and does not rely on credit to determine the interest rate or amount of money a person can take out. “I'm most excited about the ability to provide more people with easy access to the financial services they need; like access to food stamps, transferring your foreign credit history to the US, or finally getting access to affordable credit and financial guidance on demand.”
Ennie is currently knee-deep in fundraising HoneyBee’s next round to help the company scale and reach more people. She is also focused on creating partnerships, specifically in the non-profit sector, as they have seen a huge need for their services there.
When asked about recent challenges that she has overcome, Ennie immediately began reflecting on her divorce a few years ago, which ultimately changed the course of her life. “I was entirely unprepared for the negative financial impact of a divorce. It completely wrecked my credit, I couldn't get approved for an apartment, and I fell into debt. I knew I couldn't be the only one this happened to. It was a catalyst for my current company HoneyBee.”
Ennie accredits her supportive parents to her success, as they have been a huge inspiration to her throughout the years. Her parents immigrated to Montreal, Canada when she was only four years old from Malaysia.
“Growing up we were taught to save, buying name brand food was a luxury. I watched my parents work tirelessly to create opportunities for me and my sisters. I know how hard it was to make ends meet, and I want to help people, especially those with families like mine, improve their financial health and habits.”
Ennie currently resides in Los Angeles, California, and works remotely from her apartment.
Hometown: Montreal, Canada
Favorite hobby: Oenology, the study of wine.
Favorite part of your day: Taking a hot bath at the end of the day and meditation.
Productivity hack: Staying clutter-free is important. I start every day with a list of to-dos and block out time on my calendar to get them done. I also turn off notifications to avoid distractions while working.
Favorite Book: Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard -- Yvon built a company out of his love for rock-climbing, and he was able to instill tremendous passion in Patagonia’s culture that’s still present today.
Favorite Podcast: Guy Raz, How I Built This -- Some of my favorite episodes were Emily Weiss (Glossier), Sara Blakely (Spanx), Herb Kelleher (Southwest), José Andrés, Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia).
6:30 am: I jump on my spin bike for 30-minutes with a Hip Hop or Pop playlist. I especially love 90's Hip Hop.
7:00 am: I’ve cut back on coffee during the pandemic, so I usually make a matcha oat milk latte or some tea and briefly check on the market. I don't obsess over it, but I try to keep up with daily announcements, earnings, etc.
7:30 am: I begin checking high-priority emails with Good Morning America on in the background (I love GMA, I need to start my day on a high note, love Robin Roberts!). I use a priority matrix to manage my time. The four areas are Do, Plan, Delegate, and Eliminate. I try not to multitask and block out time on my calendar for projects I need to prioritize.
9:00 am: We start every Monday with a team meeting. Everyone shares what they have planned for the week and what their goals are.
9:30 am to 12:00 pm: It will vary depending on the meetings I have scheduled. When I'm fundraising, it's back-to-back meetings.
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm: I love spending a bit of time preparing lunch; recently, I've been making healthy Chinese soups.
1:00 pm: I'll go for a brief stroll outdoors.
1:30 pm to 5:00 pm: More meetings… I also try to spend some time listening to an audiobook. I have a goal of listening to 1 audiobook a month. Last year I listened/read 16 books. I want to keep that up!
5:00 pm: At the end of the day, I prepare for my meetings for the following day. If the meeting is with potential investors, I spend a couple of hours researching the venture fund, listening to interviews, and finding out more about the partners' values and ideologies.
6:00 pm: I meditate for 10-minutes, then I prepare dinner.
8:00 pm to 10:00 pm: Guilty pleasure, The Bachelor! It’s a ridiculous social experiment that I’m addicted to. I generally watch it while I’m organizing emails, documents, projects, etc. I’m OCD when it comes to organizing.
10:00 pm: I cap off my night with decaffeinated Genmaicha tea and write in my journal. I usually get to bed by 10:30. Consistent sleep is crucial for me.
6:30 am: I’ll switch up my workout and do yoga, I love and miss hot yoga studios so I’ll blast the heat in my apartment.
7:00 am: On Friday's I kick off the day with mushroom coffee. I'll make a small breakfast, usually toast and eggs. Read the daily news.
7:30 am: I begin to plan for the following week. Read and answer critical emails.
9:00 am: We kick off the weekend with a laid-back/social team meeting. Team members switch off hosting each week and get to choose the topic. We've played trivia games, learned about art, discussed important/timely issues, and had casual check-ins. We've started to build stronger bonds since working from home.
10:00 am to 1:00 pm: Schedule meetings.
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm: I have an acupuncture appointment every Friday to help reduce stress and anxiety. I started reading more about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) during the pandemic. It's helped me a lot.
2:00 pm to 6:00 pm: If I'm fundraising, I spend most of my time preparing materials for our raise. I'll generally work throughout the weekend as well.
6:00 pm: I go grocery shopping for the week ahead.
7:00 pm: I start preparing dinner and I’ll treat myself to a glass of wine at the end of the week, sometimes I’ll invite a couple of friends over to have safe social distance wine catch-up by the outdoor fireplace.
9:00 pm: I'll watch a movie to unwind. I grew up speaking French in Montreal, and recently, I've been watching more French films, I recommend “Call My Agent!” on Netflix.
Reach out to Ennie on LinkedIn.