• Chan LaiwaDecember 23, 2010Chan Laiwa is a descendant of the Manchu dynasty that ruled China from 1644 to 1911. Born in 1941 in the Summer Palace, poverty forced Chan to leave education after high school. Having scraped up enough to start a furniture repair business, she moved to Hong Kong where, in the early 1980s, she finally hit pay-dirt. The amount she earned there from buying and re-selling furniture accumulated her enough venture capital to buy 12 villas. Chan says that poverty was the best college education she could have hoped for.