She practises palliative care and looks after terminally ill patients at the St Luke’s Hospital, but being a doctor is only one aspect of who Elaine Kim is. This mother-of-three is also a serial entrepreneur, having co-founded Crib and Trehaus. The former is a social enterprise that helps equip women entrepreneurs through networking and training in business skills, while the latter, where she serves as CEO, is the first co-working space designed for working parents.
Going into medicine was always on the cards, since she hails from a family of doctors. Yet, the world of business and entrepreneurship always intrigued her. “Every time I saw a problem, if I could find a solution through business, I’d do it,” she says.
Choosing one over the other to study in university was tough. “But I saw that being a doctor allowed me to make a huge difference to people’s lives. I figured I could become a doctor first and do business after.”
Trehaus rose from a direct need to cater to the needs of working parents, giving them the flexibility to prioritise both work and family. “Here, you can work with like-minded individuals who are very driven and successful but are also parents.”
Trehaus will establish another location in Singapore and is in talks to open in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. It is also expanding its services into education and will provide preschool and childcare education for children up to six years old.