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."