PETALING JAYA: Izziana is a B40 mother of five children living in a one-bedroom apartment in Gombak.
Before the Movement Control Order (MCO), this hard-working mother would drive up to the Bangsar market four times a week to sell fruits with her husband, earning RM200 a day.
When MCO was implemented in 2020, however, markets were forced to close and Izziana and her husband were left in despair. After all, with nobody to buy their fruits, how would they feed their family?
It was while they were scrambling for other avenues that Izziana came across Ibupreneur, a platform that aims to empower financially-dependent and vulnerable mothers – particularly single, unemployed, B40 or retired mothers with low EPF levels, by helping them earn additional income from their skills.
After signing up with Ibupreneur, Izziana and her husband no longer depend on the sales of fruits.
Instead, Izziana now spends her time baking cookies of up to 10 different varieties, which can easily earn her a steady amount of RM2,000 – an amount that’s more than enough for her family of seven.
But Izziana is just one of the lucky few to have come across this platform.
Co-founder of Ibupreneur, Aida Zunaidi, explained to FMT that in 2019, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) discovered that 7.1 million people of the working-age are outside of the labour force.
“Out of this 7.1 million, 4.8 million are women and 42.6% of these women choose to be at home because of household duties,” she explained.
Recognising this gap, Aida and two other partners decided to create a platform where unemployed, stay-at-home mothers could sell their baked goods and generate an income at the same time.
Aida shared that there are so many skilled and talented women who could benefit from earning additional income, but they are not very familiar with digital marketing.
This is where Ibupreneur steps in, to try and generate a sustainable income for these women.
“I knew a lady who was very talented at making kek lapis but her approach towards expanding her business was very traditional.
“Her kek lapis was extremely delicious and we thought we could join forces by taking it online and expanding her market so she can generate more income.”
Ibupreneur started off with just four aspiring mothers in 2019 and has now expanded to nine mums, each rolling out numerous baked goods ranging from freshly baked cakes to indulgent pastries and cookies.
The social enterprise also encourages the mothers to work together, so if one mother were to fall sick and is unable to bake one day, another can take over as backup.
“Ely, a 65-year-old single mother who has been in the kek lapis business for a while has paired up with 40-year-old Kak Nur who is not only her neighbour but also a B40 mum living in PPR.
“This helps Ely with her orders but also works as a way to continue her kek lapis legacy,” explained Aida.
On top of encouraging single mothers to be more innovative with new recipe ideas, this social enterprise also sends the mums for food handling courses.
Single mother Helen, 58, also found sweet success on Ibupreneur with her crunchy murukkus.
According to Aida, Helen learned the tricky art of making murukku from her mother and through the help of Ibupreneur, has elevated the classic murukku flavour with exciting flavours such as Salted Egg, Jalapeno, Roasted Chicken and even Matcha.
With 60 over products sold by the mums, there’s a little something for everyone – from traditional sweets like Urundai, Pineapple Tarts and Kuih Kapit to more adventurous flavours like the Cadbury Kek Lapis, Prune Kek Lapis (and 19 other flavours on the menu) and sinful Oreo Brownies.
Craving for a dreamy looking Upside-down Pineapple Cake or a tray of rich brownies to keep you company during the lockdown? You can count on these mums to ‘bake’ it happen!
The revenue from the sales of the baked goods is divided into a ratio of 60:40, with the mums taking home 60% and Ibupreneur taking the other 40% to cover marketing, packaging and branding purposes.
But the work doesn’t stop there. Seeing how Ibupreneur has changed the lives of these mums have spurred the founders on to work even harder.
Their current goal is to ensure that the mums receive a minimum of RM2,500 of monthly income, and that they raise enough funds to open a central kitchen for all the mums to use.
“We are hoping to change the lives of mothers for the better, one mum at a time,” said a hopeful Aida.
If you’re looking for some delicious goodies for Chinese New Year to send to a loved one during these challenging times, the mums have released gift packages with tempting treats.
These mouthwatering delights comprise limited edition Orange Fortune Cookies, Peanut butter and Peanut Chunk-flavoured Kuih Kapit and of course, the unmissable Pineapple Tarts.
It’s a win-win situation for all, as not only will you be able to enjoy the best of baked goods, but will you also empower the women who work so hard for their families.
Show your support for Malaysia’s aspiring mumpreneurs by heading to Ibupreneur’s website here and placing your orders today.