Meet Jacqui Hocking, an ambitious Singapore based filmmaker who has established 3 businesses, co-founded The Singapore Eco Film Festival and been featured on Forbes’ 30 under 30.
Hailing from Melbourne and based in Singapore, social entrepreneur and filmmaker Jacqui Hocking has founded 3 businesses, created the Singapore Eco Film Festival and was recently featured on Forbes’ 30 under 30 in 2017. Inspired by superstar Beyoncé and visionary Elon Musk, she is on a quest to use her skills to affect change – both on her doorstep and beyond – hence recently raising USD 6 million to fund a documentary on floating hospitals in Papua New Guinea. And she doesn’t intend to stop there.
At just 28 years of age, Jacqui Hocking is more determined than ever. Active in film since adolescence, her passion for documentaries stems from her passion for sharing human stories, an enthusiasm sparked when she sailed the globe with a UN Global Climate Expedition in 2008. “I’ve always been a filmmaker. I love documentary because I love discovering new perspectives and learning about humanity from all angles and walks of life. I feel that documentary – authentic stories about real people – might be one of the most important tasks of our time. We have an urgent need to address social and environmental challenges, and the only way we can do that is through collaboration. And the only thing in the way of collaboration; is communication. So that’s where I put all my focus and drive: storytelling.”
From that pioneering moment onwards, Jacqui has forged her own way, starting the businesses and building the initiatives she feels she needs to see in order to get results – most obviously through her enterprise VSStory, a ‘Visionary Storytelling Company’ that creates content for companies & startups they feel are making a positive impact in the world; enabling them to scale through powerful storytelling and strategy. “Nobody is doing this in Singapore, so I decided to transition from filmmaking to entrepreneurship. Sadly the multinational company I want to work for doesn’t exist yet, so I needed to create it,” she explains.
Today, VSStory brings together a team of entrepreneurs, and design thinkers to help these companies set out and explain their vision. They are a group of people who have come together along the way, with different backgrounds and one core aim – when it comes to storytelling, Jacqui says, “connect to the ecosystem, connect to yourself, and connect with your audience.” In 2000, she met one of her partners, Yasmine, whilst cycling in East Timor to raise money for women entrepreneurs. She remembers, “I was blown away by her energy, power, and resilience—I told her there and then that ‘one day we will work together.” Her favourite project to date is about a man named Kāylepa Baybayan, who sailed in his wooden canoe across the Pacific Ocean without navigation. Jacqui recalls his quote which she could never forget – “We’re people that left the safety of the coastline, and in doing so we discovered the stars.”
Pictured: Victoria Sim, Creative Lead – Filmmaker and Storyteller at VSStory
By using businesses as a force for good, Jacqui is on a quest to impact the world positively while making profit. One of her biggest goals is to achieve global gender equality. In 2016, she also started the Singapore Eco Film Festival with a group of friends, “It’s a way for me to celebrate positive solutions for the environment. It’s not my main business, so it takes the pressure off and we’re able to take bigger risks by bringing together stakeholders – companies, causes and creatives – to create a truly magical community event.” she explains. Even given all the above, however, there are still things left on her to do list. “My dream project would be a documentary interview with Beyonce (HEH!) to inspire women to believe in themselves and work their *** off to achieve their dreams,” she laughs. She’d be well placed to film it.
Jacqui Hocking’s Advice for Entrepreneurs:
- If you’re creative; don’t be scared of the finance. It’s easy and fun once you understand what the hell it all means.
- If you’re socially or environmentally minded; don’t be scared of profit. You need profit to survive and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with putting a value on your time. Don’t undervalue yourself.
- If you’re doing it for money; don’t be scared of failing. Because it’s likely you will. Find something bigger than yourself that’s worth failing for.
- In summary: don’t be scared!