Last year, our Board set out to explore how technology may empower our efforts for better programme outcomes. As such, with the support of the Info-Tech Board Committee, we introduced technology to those who have not been able to reap the benefits of a digitalised lifestyle. 5 mothers who were not digitally savvy learnt to set up a store on Shopee without capital and leveraged artificial intelligence to identify saleable products.
After the initial training, 2 mothers managed to operate their online store for about 6 months, and another is still operating today. Operating an online store had its challenges but we applaud all 5 mothers for giving it their best shot and having the courage to venture into unfamiliar terrain.
Last Friday, we initiated the second run of this initiative. Konigle, our technology CSR Partner trained a diverse group of 9 members which comprised 4 young people and 5 mothers. This time, instead of setting up shop on Shoppe, Konigle introduced an AI-powered website builder to help participants draw traffic to their website store.
The group was diverse not just because of the participants’ profiles but also because of their motivation and the online stores that they envisioned for themselves. A 22-year-old shared that she wanted to help her mother succeed with her online efforts to market her home-made cookies and pre-loved Blue-Ray DVDs while another hoped to fund his university education through an online business. Others wanted to have an additional revenue stream to better care for their children and other dependents in their families.
As for store ideas, one wanted to sell her recipes because friends were always asking her to share them while another wanted to put her handicraft online. She showed some photos of what she produces and unexpectedly impressed a potential customer. A young man in the room told her that when he has a girlfriend, he will definitely order a customised gift from her.
One business idea that got everyone’s attention was charging for excursions to places with a reputation of being haunted. This person elaborated that she spends her spare time researching, visiting, and documenting places in Singapore that are known for their supernatural phenomenon. She also wondered that since friends come to her for advice on all matters relating to cats, she could perhaps position herself as an expert on local cats.
The trainer from Konigle was most encouraging as he told everyone that in principle, all their ideas could be monetised. He also introduced Chatgpt and assured participants that with its use, they would be able to generate adequate content for their websites.
Participants left the session excited, inspired, and looked forward to furthering their ideas with Konigle on a one-to-one basis. We wish them every success.
For peace, community, and aspirations,
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. – Winston Churchill