Sarawak Energy Extends Capacity Building Programme To Women In Baleh

Thirty attend entrepreneurship programme

KAPIT, January 13, 2018, Saturday: As the 1,285 MW Baleh HEP project, scheduled to be completed by 2025, ramps up, project proponent Sarawak Energy is working with various agencies and organisations to develop programmes that will enable the local community to benefit from the various business and employment opportunities that are expected to be stimulated by the implementation of the project into the area.

The Baleh Women Entrepreneurship Programme was organised last month as part of Sarawak Energy’s overall strategy to ensure maximum local content and benefit by building capacity, developing skills and enhancing business knowhow for the resident population.

Thirty women with an entrepreneurial mindset were part of the workshop where participants were given insight into how they could take part in business activities and of the available support to start their businesses.

The interactive and practical part of the programme saw participants divided into groups and given tasks in forming their own virtual company, allowing them to discuss and learn how to formulate business plans. The participants also had the opportunity to present their plan at end of the programme.

Pelagus assemblyman Wilson Nyabong Ijang, who was the guest of honour during the closing ceremony of the two-day programme, thanked Sarawak Energy for organising the programme and expressed his hope that more such programmes would be organized for the people in Baleh and Kapit in future.

“My hope is for the participants to make full use of the skills and knowledge they have learn and to start out with small businesses,” Nyabong said.

“It is hoped that through this new knowledge and skills, the participants will be able to take advantage of the opportunities,” said Sarawak Energy’s head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Jiwari Abdullah at the closing.

Jiwari encouraged them to tap on the various business activities of the mega project to enhance their socio-economic development.

“By working early with stakeholders and engaging them on the requirements, various capacity building programmes for the community have been identified and outlined by Sarawak Energy. Some have already been implemented including technical and skills training for the young, and this workshop which focuses on entrepreneurial development.”

For one of the participants, Magrete Sempurai from Nanga Antawau, the programme had exposed them to the entrepreneurial world, equipping them with knowledge to to start up or grow their small businesses.

Another participant, Nor Ain Abdullah, also from Nanga Antawau, said the programme would be helpful at enhancing the capacity and personal development for the women in Baleh.

“We hope that there will be more skills development programmes such as this because we are very interested in building, diversifying and expanding our skill sets so that we can strengthen our source of income,” Nor Ain said.

 Held in December 2017, the two-day workshop was conducted by Universiti Malaysia Kelantan’s Centre of External Education. 

Also present at the closing ceremony were Senior Manager for Social Investment and Community Development Joanne Tan Cho Yian, Director for Centre for External Education from Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) Prof Dr. Mohamed Dahlan Ibrahim and Sarawak Energy’s community liaisons in Kapit.

Joanne, Jiwari and Wilson (seated fourth, fifth and sixth right respectively) together with Prof. Dr Mohamed Dahlan (seated fifth left) posing for a group photograph with all the participants.

Participants taking notes during the programme.

Participants presenting their presentation worksheet on entrepreneurship ideas.