Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what inspired you to start a bakery project?
I come across many refugee families and most of them are in financial distress, particularly single mothers who rely entirely on external support. Whether it’s aid from schools or charitable organizations, their dependence on others for survival makes me sad.
I realized that a bakery could be a great way for these women to gain financial independence through learning a valuable skill. I plan to train them to become skilled bakers who can create delicious cakes and biscuits. Then, I will assist in marketing and selling the products to the public and we will split the profits. This will allow the mothers to earn a fair and reasonable income through their own hard work.
How has your bakery project grown and evolved since its inception, and what are your plans for the future?
Our bakery has grown rapidly, thanks to promotions on Instagram and personal connections. We’ve also set up booths in shopping malls to increase awareness, resulting in more people supporting our project. During Mother’s Day, we sold around 100 cakes and 150 cans of cookies, showcasing our success. Going forward, we plan to establish partnerships with cafes and restaurants to further promote our bakery and make it more sustainable. Additionally, we’ll continue setting up booths in different shopping malls and eventually launch an online platform for convenient ordering.
What challenges have you faced in running a bakery project, and how have you overcome them?
Initially, I faced challenges in terms of manpower and funding for the bakery project. Starting from scratch, I lacked the necessary equipment and ovens, making it difficult to begin. Thank God, I was able to secure a grant of RM35,000 from the APPGM SDG, which enabled me to purchase the required items and establish the bakery.
Although I was struggling to manage everything alone, I was blessed with the support of additional staff over time. Now, we have trainers to help with new employee training, and sales and marketing personnel to execute promotional activities. However, we still need more people to join us in our mission of empowering single women through training and providing them with a stable source of income.
What role do you see your bakery playing in the community, and how do you give back?
Our bakery is here to bless the community. A bulk of the profits from the sale of the products goes to the community and for the benefits of the refugees. As an on-going enterprise, we still need the funds to run the projects so 80% of the profits goes to the refugees and 20% is set aside for the running cost of this project.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers about your bakery project?
My goal for this bakery project is to empower refugee single mothers to run their businesses independently and confidently, without relying on my assistance or community support. I hope this project will be sustainable and gain widespread support for its success.