KUALA LIPIS, November 5 : A participant of the East Coast Economic Region (ECER)’s empower Raub programme recently opened her own bridal shop after completing her training in a bridal make-up course under the empower Skills & EntrepreneurshipTraining initiative.

Mrs. Yap Nyoke Mui, 42, is the proud owner of SK Wedding Gallery here which houses an impressive bridal collection as well as offers make-up and styling services for soon-to-be brides and grooms. Her success in acquiring the necessary skills and going into business less than a year after graduating from the course highlights the empower programme’s success in spurring entrepreneurship among the adults.

The mother of one child is one of 500 participants enrolled in the empower Raub’s Skills & Entrepreneurship Training initiative which commenced in January 2012. The training programme offers a variety of courses including receptionist and public relations, wiring and plumbing, sewing and fashion designing, cake baking and pastry, hairdressing, bridal make-up, and physiotherapy.

The single storey premise of SK Wedding Gallery was officially opened on 3 November by the Member of the State Legislative Assembly for Cheka, YB Dato’ Fong Koong Fuee, with some 50 empower participants gracing the occasion.

ECER Development Council (ECERDC) Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John said the opening of the bridal gallery by an empower participant is yet another proof of the programme’s effectiveness in enabling the local populace to learn new skills and generate additional income.

He said the training courses introduced by ECERDC are in line with the current market needs, noting that empower is well on track in transforming the socio-economic well-being of the Raub district.

“I’m pleased with the dedication and efforts of empower participants as well as their enthusiasm in establishing their own businesses. It is hoped that there will be more budding entrepreneurs from this programme,” added Dato’ Issace.

There are 900 participants under empower Raub comprising 400 participants in Academic Skills Training and another 500 participants under the Entrepreneurship Skills Training initiative.

Based on the success of the empower programmes implemented in other locations, empower Raub will be able to achieve the KPI set by ECERDC namely, 80 per cent success rate in job placement for the participants, with an additional income of between RM800 and RM1,500 per month.

In February 2012, Fazlinawati bt Abdul opened her own bakery, Qaseh Alina Enterprise after completing the cake baking and pastry course under the empower Lipis programme.