She's cool about starting out in hawker centre

Ms Chng, who quit her job as an assistant at a clinic, says the Entrepreneurship Programme has taught her how to run her own business. She now runs a stall selling local desserts at Ci Yuan hawker centre.
Ms Chng, who quit her job as an assistant at a clinic, says the Entrepreneurship Programme has taught her how to run her own business. She now runs a stall selling local desserts at Ci Yuan hawker centre.PHOTO: ALICIA CHAN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

When 23-year-old Aericurl Chng told her friends she was starting her own business selling desserts, they did not expect it to be in a hawker centre.

They told her: "Why don't you open a cafe, sell waffles and ice cream? We would come down to support you more often if the place had air-conditioning."

She said: "I was a little speechless. But I know that there will always be a group of people who think that way and won't step into a hawker centre."

 
 

Ms Chng said the Entrepreneurship Programme has taught her how to run her own business - which would not have come easy if she had dived into opening a cafe on her own. She now sells local desserts like chendol, bubur hitam and tau suan at Ci Yuan hawker centre.

Before this, Ms Chng worked as a clinic assistant for two months after she graduated with a diploma in pharmaceutical sciences from Republic Polytechnic last May. "It was a nine-to-five, routine job. I was doing the same thing every day. I felt like I was dead."

When she learnt about the entrepreneurship scheme, she quit her job. "I'd always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I was just looking for the right time and opportunity."

Now, she works daily from 3pm to 11pm, with a day off only once a week. She is helped by her mother, 56, and two other workers. "Today, I tell my friends that I enjoy what I do. I have a passion for food, and I am pursuing my dream to be an entrepreneur."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2016, with the headline 'She's cool about starting out in hawker centre'. Print Edition | Subscribe