Inspiring Canadians Entrepreneur – Stephanie Li
Leader. Innovator. Community Builder.
Stephanie Li has found success by framing her story as an opportunity.
Stephanie is the Founder and Principal of Spotlight West Communications, a cross-cultural marketing and public relations firm that specializes in connecting North American companies with the Chinese community. Spotlight West’s reach extends from Vancouver, Toronto and New York to London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.
Stephanie brings over a decade of experience in private and non-profit sectors, both locally and in Asia. She has an extensive background in providing strategic consultation on rebranding and campaigns in the Asian market. She started her educational journey at the University of British Columbia, completing her Bachelor of Arts. Her drive and tenacity took her all the way to Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where she completed a General Management program. Subsequently, she furthered her education and achieved a Masters in Management at Harvard University.
Through her experience of being raised by immigrant parents and her travels and work in Asia, she jumped at the opportunity to start her own agency. As a result, Spotlight West was created to address a gap in the market.
The global Chinese market is the fastest-growing consumer market in the world. Stephanie saw the Western world struggle to connect with the Chinese community and the need for authentic representation. Stephanie developed systems and methods for helping North American companies effectively communicate and market to the Chinese community in North America and Asia.
In recent years, as the world evolved and adapted due to the global pandemic, so too did Stephanie. She pivoted and broadened Spotlight West’s services to suit the needs of the COVID crisis better. As a result, the company actually expanded during that time. The demand for services grew, and Stephanie worked to grow her team. She mobilized a team that supports localized client work in real-time and in five different time zones. She has worked with renowned companies such as Ford Motors, Bang & Olufsen, Avenue Road and the Vancouver Canucks. Her resilience during this time has been noticed as she has been nominated for the Association of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs’ 2023 Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
In addition to her business accomplishments, Stephanie devotes much time to charity. She is a founding partner and advisor for the Eyeglasses Project, a non-profit organization that provides marginalized communities in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with free eye care and prescription glasses. To date, the Eyeglasses Project has helped over 500 people and onboarded 30 partners. Their goal is to bring their work nationally and help people across Canada.
It is clear that in both her company and her volunteer sphere, community is at the center of all of Stephanie’s work. She brings people together, and her generous spirit is reflected in giving back to a community that has provided much to her.
Stephanie’s highlights in the community include the following:
- Vice-President, Board of Directors for Chimo Community Services;
- Board of Directors for S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and Co-Chair for 2023 S.U.C.C.E.S.S. 50th Anniversary Fundraising Gala;
- Former Board of Directors for Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden;
- Former volunteer for the Immigrant Services Society of BC; and
- Mentor for UBC Sauder and Arts students.