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Elaine Young Wins Women in Asia Award

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Elaine Young, CEO of Shama, one of Asia’s leading serviced apartment providers has been presented with the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ by the prestigious RBS Coutts and Financial Times, Women in Asia Awards 2009.

The Women in Asia Awards aim to promote, inspire and recognise the growing ranks of successful women around the region who have used Hong Kong as their springboard for regional and global success. Selected from a highly competitive shortlist of finalists Elaine Young was distinguished for her successful business career.

With a diverse, hugely successful background in property and sourcing plus a superior sense for style, it is unsurprising that Young was honoured with such a prestigious and highly regarded award.

“It is a great honour to be the recipient of this award, especially knowing the calibre of inspirational women that were nominated,” said Ms Young. “I owe much of my success to the electric and energetic business environment of Hong Kong; there really is nowhere else like it in the world.”

Young originally came to Hong Kong from London in 1986 and after gaining first-hand experience in the real estate sector, developed a keen sense for the Hong Kong market in her roles with a surveyor firm and a high profit residential sales and leasing agency. In 1996, Young edged towards the boutique serviced apartment market after the purchase of a 10-apartment building in London, which she intended to lease out.

A lucrative profit opportunity presented itself when Young quickly realised that furnishing the interiors, adding a maid service, and hiring a doorman for the ground floor who was fluent in English and able to offer recommendations on local attractions could be extremely profitable.

After incomparable success in the Hong Kong market, Young set her sights on mainland China. An aggressive expansion strategy means the brand is well on its way to achieving market leader status in the boutique apartment sector throughout Asia Pacific.

Co-founded in 1996, Shama was introduced to the Hong Kong rental market as the first boutique serviced apartment building. The company now operates over 13 properties in prime commercial and residential districts in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Chengdu and Dalian, and has accumulated a value in excess of HK$ 1.7 billion. In 2009 alone, Shama has acquired two additional properties in Shanghai.

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