“Take the buns and set up a stand at school to sell during tea time! You can make a profit!”
Spoken like a true businesswoman. I smiled when I heard the advice. It came from one of the women we have been helping to earn her own living by selling home made food. She was giving advice to Ching Ching’s (the founder of eHomemakers) daughter.
Thinking about it, those words were music. Just a few weeks ago, this same woman was in tears, feeling her life meant nothing, that nothing she tried was successful. She didn’t believe that she could succeed at business. She thought it was too hard to work. She had been catered to all her life and was afraid to be independent.
Now, she is even feeling confident enough in what she is doing that she is giving advice to others. She sees the benefits and tells others to go out and try. “Try.” That’s the key word. She even taught me a lesson when I laughed and said “Oh, a kid can’t sell at school.”
“Sure she can,” she told me. “All she needs is a table and a sign. Then, OK, maybe can’t eat it for lunch, but she can tell them to take home for a snack later.”
Not only was she setting up the business itself, but she was developing a market strategy!
This may have been just a fun conversation to pass the time, but I think it was quite telling. A woman who just a short time ago had no work, let alone business, experience could now come up with a sales strategy on the fly. She had gone from a feeling of helplessness to a feeling of empowerment, to the point that she wanted to reach out and help others.
The more I think about it, the more impressed I am with the whole thing. It shows that eHomemakers’ strategy to empower women by giving them the skills to become economically independent is working. Not only can they earn a living, but the experience helps to grow their self-confidence as well.
It is still slow going, and we’re struggling to create proposals and do outreach for the funding we need to continue, but these little signs show that there is a real value to the work that eHomemakers is doing. I just hope that more people can begin to see the positive impact, however subtle, of what is transpiring here.
Posted By Melissa Muscio (Malaysia)
Posted Jul 28th, 2006