The nine underprivileged mothers in the first cohort of BIBD’s Special Underprivileged Mothers Empowerment Entrepreneurship Development Programme (BIBD SEED) have generated nearly $30,000 in sales by participating in 10 pop-up events.
All nine participants now own their own food and beverage brands after completing the fully sponsored 16-month programme which was broken down into five phases covering soft skills, product development, branding, business management and social media marketing.
BIBD’s Head of Government Relations and Special Projects Hj Mohammad Yusri Hj Wahsalfelah said that BIBD SEED recently won the 3G Women Empowerment Programme Award at the 4th Global Good Governance Awards and would begin the second cycle shortly with 15 mothers who were shortlisted from the Department of Community Development and religious agencies.
“They (first cycle) now all have products and brands that can be competitive in the marketplace,” said Hj Mohd Yusri at a ceremony last weekend to mark the first cohort’s graduation and beginning of the second cycle. “This will enable them to grow their businesses so that they can be financially independent as they support their families.”
65 underprivileged mothers registered for the first cycle of BIBD SEED, with 14 shortlisted and nine completing the full programme. Notable successes include O-Liz Merchandise and Cuisine – who have secured a catering contract for Hengyi Industries – as well as Samalindang Gallery, who have opened a shop selling locally made handicrafts at the newly opened BIBD Connects at Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas.
“This is the most complete (assistance) programme that I’ve been on so far,” said 41-year-old mother of five Halizah Hj Lamit, who was classified as underprivileged by authorities after her divorce.
“Because the programme is longer that just a few months, we’ve been able to get guidance step by step in whatever problems we’ve faced in building the business. We were also challenged to come up with different products to stand out in the market instead of just nasi katok (packed rice with chicken) which lead me to create O-Liz Ongiri, my own brand of sushi.”
BIBD SEED graduates will become the bank’s clients through their SME360 service, where they will be assigned a dedicated relationship manager.
Watch: Inside BIBD SEED’s first cycle