Home-based businesses aim to inspire other entrepreneurs at jobs and skills fair

Some 20 exhibitors had booths at the Jobs and SkillsFuture fair at Wisma Geylang Serai.
Some 20 exhibitors had booths at the Jobs and SkillsFuture fair at Wisma Geylang Serai.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - While working from home during the circuit breaker last April, Ms Andini Muslim and her husband decided to start their own home-based business - selling sweet and savoury treats such as cookies and meatballs.

What started off as a side hustle has now become Ms Andini's main focus, after the 42-year-old was laid off from her job in the service engineering industry last December.

Hers was among four home-based businesses at a jobs and skills fair at Wisma Geylang Serai on Saturday (Jan 23). The entrepreneurs shared their experiences and looked to inspire others to pursue their interests and start their own businesses.

Ms Andini said: "Initially, I was scared to start the business. But my husband, my brothers and sisters encouraged me, and said that if I kept saying that I was scared, I would never start a business. So I said, okay, let's go."

She added: "Now as a home-based business, I know that it's tough and there's a lot of hard work. But when people tell you that your food is very nice, and they have repeat orders, I feel very satisfied."

Some 20 exhibitors had booths at the Jobs and SkillsFuture fair, which was held in partnership with continuing education and training organisation Mendaki Sense, the Employment and Employability Institute and others.

A mix of employment and training opportunities were on offer, with around 800 job vacancies available in industries such as retail, social services and food services.

Among the job seekers exploring their options at the fair was Ms Nurfadila Murni, who currently works in cleaning services.

The 48-year-old said she is keen to set up her own online F&B business, and was on the lookout for courses which could help her learn more about digital marketing and get started.

"Now, the trend is to run an online business. During this pandemic, there's no point in setting up a shop and having no customers. Online shops are easier to handle," she said.

Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development, was at the fair on Saturday.

He said: "I want to urge the Malay community to take all the opportunities available, so that they can upskill, reskill and learn as much as possible so that when we recover from the pandemic, we will emerge stronger."