PETALING JAYA: When Major Shera Ann Bosco of the Malaysian Armed Forces launched her Caring Moms platform on Facebook in April 2016, little did she know that she would help connect thousands of women down the road.
What began as a means to get daycare help for her seven-year-old son, has now turned into an entrepreneurial platform that has connected about 48,000 mothers and women alike.
The retired Major never intended to establish one of Malaysia’s largest small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) platforms. Instead, she was solely focused on establishing herself in the army.
“Within three months of establishing Caring Moms, we had a whopping 30,000 members and it kept growing. I realised that if I wanted to get serious with Caring Moms, I had to leave my life in the military,” recalled the passionate 45-year-old, with 22 years of military service to her name.
Shera was then conflicted — if she continued her military career, she would be the only one who would benefit from it. But if she were to pursue her new project, hundreds would benefit from it.
Thus, when she retired from military service in 2018, Shera went all-in on her project and now leads Caring Moms together with a 12-person team. The entrepreneurial development platform has since helped hundreds of women to achieve financial independence.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many breadwinners to lose their jobs, face salary cuts as well as lose opportunities. But we kept motivating them to stay positive. After all, that is what entrepreneurship is all about — seeing a problem, turning it into an opportunity, and never giving up,” explained Shera.
Recently, Caring Moms launched the Female Founders Support Network (FFSN) to enable like-minded female entrepreneurs to network and support each other, whilst also promoting mental health and providing a learning platform for women.
What’s more, whether you are a single woman looking for extra income, a stay-at-home mother, single mother, or any woman for that matter, Caring Moms does not discriminate.
Shera also added that they are now welcoming men into the community seeing as the pandemic has affected almost everyone. In fact, the youngest Caring Moms entrepreneur is 13-year-old Cailey who sells homemade earrings.
If you have the entrepreneurial spirit but lack the know-how, Caring Moms’ supportive community can help get you started.
“The first thing we do is direct you to our support team. If you are selling food, you need to have the food handling course certification and typhoid injection certification. We can help provide those courses and after you’re certified, you are registered as a seller.”
The nurturing team behind Caring Moms goes to great lengths to guide and support budding sellers to begin their entrepreneurial journey through various workshops via their own academy.
“The actual value of the course is around RM300 but we conduct it at RM50. We teach members the necessary skills to sell effectively on Caring Moms. Constant motivation is provided through FFSN and we educate them on how to market their products and establish good customer rapport.”
Considering the overwhelming responsibility of running Caring Moms, Shera recalls how she almost walked away from it all, but was inspired to persevere by one of the platform’s success stories — Michelle Yun. Yun personally reminded Shera that it was Caring Moms that supported her milk pudding business, thereby allowing Yun to pay for her children’s medical bills.
“I realised then that shutting the platform down was not an option. We had couples who were initially on the verge of divorce but now are still together because the husband has to do the delivery while the wife does her business,” joked Shera.
Does Shera ever regret her early retirement from the army?
“Not one bit. Caring Moms is something I love doing — working with people and helping them and I owe it all to the strong mindset that was instilled in me when I served in the army. Even after retiring, I still get to serve the people of Malaysia and that fills my heart with joy,” beamed the retired Major.