Lipis, Pahang, February 11 : : Only earning meagre income more than a year ago, a participant of the East Coast Economic Region’s (ECER) ’empower’ programme has become an entrepreneurial role model as she generated adequate income within 12 months to set up her own cake shop.

The premises of cake shop owner Pn Fazlinawati bt Abdul, operating under the name Qaseh Alina Enterprise, was officially opened by Padang Tengku State Assemblyman Y.B. Dato’ Abdul Rahman bin Haji Mohamed in a ceremony that was attended by a host of empower participants and officials.

The uniqueness of the ceremony is that Fazlinawati, is the first ’empower’ participant who has managed to build her own shop building funded mainly from strong sales achieved by her business during the festive seasons in 2011.

Speaking at the launch, Fazlinawati, 37 years, said, “It is a proud moment for me as I was previously working from home and earning only less than RM600 a month.

“Now, just short of a year after enrolling in the ECER’s ’empower’ programme which taught me cake making skills and how to run a business, I earned additional income of more than RM1,500 per month which helped me to realise my dreams of owning a cake shop.

“Thanks to ECER, I am happy to see that my family and my life have improved. I encourage friends and others to also try to improve their lives by enrolling in the ’empower’s’ Entrepreneurship Skill Training,” said the mother of two.

ECER Development Council’s (ECERDC) Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John said, he was happy to see entrepreneurs born out of the ’empower’ programme.

“The purpose of the ’empower’ programme is to help the population to learn new skills and earn more money.

“Pn Fazlinawati has made us proud as she not only learned the art of cake making, but also has started her own business. We hope that there will be many more budding entrepreneurs to come arising from this programme,” he noted.

Dato’ Issace added that in 2012, the ECERDC would expand the ’empower’ programme to three more districts namely Cameron Highlands and Raub in Pahang, as well as Bachok in Kelantan.

The ’empower’ programme was initiated by the ECERDC to create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, increase the participants’ income, as well as to boost the academic achievement of participating students.

Provided free, it consists of Entrepreneurship Skill Training that teaches new skills so that the participants can generate additional income, and Academic Skill Training to help students achieve academic excellence.

Besides baking course, the other courses offered includes frontline professionalism, hawker management, sewing and fashion design, cooking, make-up and bridal, mobile phone repair, computer networking and ICT-related training in tele-services.

Lipis is the third district in Pahang that embarked on the ’empower’ programme. It involved a pioneer batch of 900 participants comprising students, youth and adults who live in Lipis.

Fazlinawati’s cake shop will sell cupcakes, chocolate and cheese cakes. The shop’s specialty will be Kuih Sepit and Bahulu Bakar. Meanwhile, the shop also supplies birthday and wedding cakes as well as variety of cookies.