The learning journey at Aidha does not end at our Module 3 – Start Your Business! We have the Aidha Business Accelerator (ABA) programme that provides support to Aidha alumnae who aspire to set up or strengthen their own businesses with more tailored support and significant new funding opportunities. We relaunched the new and improved ABA programme in 2020, and received encouraging participation from our alumnae! This year, as we ran the programme over Zoom, we were able to include alumnae who were back in their home countries for the first time. To make the programme more customised, we offered two different tracks – “Take Off” and “Runway”.
The “Take Off” track is specially designed for alumnae based in Singapore or overseas who already have a business in their home country or are on their way to start a business in the next 3 months. The programme takes them to the next level through individualised support and funding while they are expanding or launching their business. Participants selected for this track can each receive up to $2,500 funding for their businesses!
The “Runway” is a track for alumnae based in Singapore who are looking for additional guidance and support to get ready to start their businesses. This track is designed to ensure that participants are gaining new useful skills, have access to more resources and are making improvements towards starting their businesses. Also, we hope that our “Runway” track participants will progress to our “Take Off” track in the future!
For both tracks, the programme consists of business topics and soft skills development workshops, small group or one-to-one mentoring, and networking opportunities with industry experts and more!
Eli’s Continuing the Family Tradition
Eli Nur Fadilah hails from Cilacap, Central Java, Indonesia, and she has been working in Singapore since 2011. She graduated from Aidha Module 3 in 2017 and she is an ABA “Runway” participant. Eli comes from a family of small business owners, with her mother being the excellent cook she is, owns a food stall in their village selling kueh and other delicacies. Her brother also has his own food business, selling tasty street food! By joining the ABA programme and equipping herself with the necessary skills and acumen, Eli plans to follow the footsteps of her family members and open her own eatery selling chicken porridge when she returns home.
“Porridge is a quick and healthy breakfast meal!” explained Eli on why she chose porridge. She added that she hopes to cater to the youth who attend the schools nearby with an affordable and delicious bowl of breakfast porridge. She had done thorough research and applied what she has learned to her business plan. Aside from receiving guidance and mentorship in the programme, Eli felt that learning different avenues to finance her business was especially useful. She learned about the different financial institutions in Indonesia where she can seek financial support to grow her business.
“I would like to keep on expanding my business even after it has started, it is an ongoing growth journey for me,” Eli exclaimed. Eli is determined to continue learning, create value in society and leave kindness and compassion as her legacy. We wish her the best of luck in embarking on this exciting journey!
Armi’s Egg-celent Idea
Armi Sampani, an ABA “Take Off” participant, is currently back home in Ilo Ilo, Philippines after spending more than 13 years working in Singapore. She graduated from Aidha in 2017 and was the overall winner for the Best Business Plan at the graduation competition. She blew the audience away with her confidence and her passion for her ice-cream business, Nana Ice Cream. When we ask her why she wanted to start an ice-cream business, she said, “When I was younger, I was happy every time I saw ice cream. It’s like the feeling of being young again. I want to bring that to people.”
She had kickstarted her business during the start of the global pandemic and, due to that unfortunate timing, it was a challenge to keep it afloat. With the frequent power outages in her town, she was facing issues such as storing her all-natural ice-cream. As she wishes to support local farmers, all her fresh ingredients are purchased locally. However, she realised that purchasing eggs from the local market was not the best option as she found that the eggs tended not be fresh. She decided to start her own egg farm within her home vicinity, initially with a small number of chickens. Now, Armi has almost 400 chickens and plans to purchase more cages to accommodate even more hens!
With the guidance from her ABA mentors and what she has learned in Aidha, she made the decision to switch her focus to her egg production business for now, while still continuously working on improving the processes and production of Nana Ice-Cream. She harvests the eggs every morning and delivers them around her hometown with her bicycle. She hopes to use the income from the sales of eggs to support the ongoing development and improvements of her ice-cream business.
“Cashflow is very important in any business, so we need to always think ahead to ensure our business runs smoothly,” said Armi. With the support from the ABA programme, Armi hopes to invest in a motorcycle to make deliveries easier and also to purchase a proper ice-cream maker. She aims to introduce natural and unique ice-cream flavours to her community back home such as Dolce Delatto – her personal favourite! Wishing all the best for your cool business, Armi!