Jeanilyn Bermudez, aidha 2009 graduate and Sunday volunteer
“I’ve always had a business mind. I would look at other people in town who had businesses and think to myself, if only I could save up enough money, I could own my own business too. But there was no opportunity to do that as we were very poor. I looked around for an office job in my home province of Nueva Vizcaya in the Philippines as I wanted to help with my brothers’ and sisters’ education but that was not enough to support us. So I came to Singapore in 1984 to work as a domestic worker. I was 19 years old but my elder sister was not as confident as me so it made sense that I would become the breadwinner for my family”.
It was some years later when recycling became a big issue in the news that I saw my opportunity to expand my recycling business. I had already started and managed several small businesses before, which included a karaoke restaurant, rice retail business and a beauty parlour. But this had the potential to get bigger. I joined aidha because I wanted to learn how to develop a business plan, and the strategies and skills to expand. The business was named the Lyneth Grace Metal and Boxes Junk Shop after my three daughters. I ran it together with my brother from under the awning in our home. Aidha taught me a lot about money management, communication and IT skills. It gave me the self-confidence I needed to communicate as a business woman. I learnt about savings and planning for the future and learning to prioritise. Read more