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NINE women entrepreneurs, whose businesses were impacted during the Covid-19 pandemic, are getting help for their businesses to thrive.
They are shortlisted for a programme that helps women in small businesses that is run by Tech Outreach Malaysia, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) working to improve the lives of marginalised and disadvantaged communities.
Its projects head Susheela Sabaratnam said the programme called “Revive: Empowering Women in Business” started in March and aimed at empowering women to be resilient post pandemic.
The eight-month programme is funded by Global Giving, a non-profit organisation based in the United States that provides crowdfunding platforms for grassroot charitable projects.
She said the module included networking sessions and coaching by successful women in business to train participants on ways to overcome operational challenges.
“There are also classes for them to learn fundamentals of a successful start-up, including finance and marketing matters.Maizatul took up culinary courses to learn from the industry experts.
“By the end of the programme, we hope the participants realise their potential, and have the confidence to move along in their businesses.
“We are also training them to be resourceful in improving their business practices, set goals and use tools to track results, and learn to adapt to meet market opportunities,” she said.
One of the participants was single mother-of-two Maizatul Faduwa Simah Sharom, 45, from Sepang, Selangor.,
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The former tourist guide lost her job during the pandemic and took her passion for cooking and baking and transformed it into a business to support her family.
Maizatul said she also signed up for culinary courses to improve her skills.
“However, skills alone are not enough as I also need to know how to run my business. That is why I signed up for this programme.
“The programme has helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses, and to cater for the needs of my target market,” she said.
Another beneficiary of the programme was KR Rathiga, 60, from Kulim, Kedah.
The former human resources manager left the corporate world in 2016 to pursue her Masters degree in counselling but due to poor demand for counsellors, she has been working as a real estate negotiator since 2018.
Rathiga started selling ayurvedic products in 2020 but sales halted when the pandemic started.
“Businesses were going digital and so I knew that I needed e-commerce knowledge.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to learn that through this programme,” she said.