President Message 2014
As we walk into 2014, I want to take stock of our achievements and challenges for the year just passed.
Achievements, we have had many. We were the co-host of the APEC Regional Forum together with The Asia Foundation where three ASEAN countries joined us in Malaysia to learn and share entrepreneurial skills that women use successfully. We had distinguished speakers from our government agencies and our guests were indeed impressed. Later in the year NAWEM represented Malaysia in an APEC follow-up forum in Bali.
In fact if there is one significant feature in 2013 for NAWEM, it must be the participation of our members in women summits in Malaysia and overseas. With the subsidy offered by SME Corp, many of us in NAWEM could afford to attend the meetings in Kuala Lumpur, London, Qatar and Macau where we enhanced our knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship and personal empowerment.
Training and development in core and ancillary skills to start up a home business for the less privileged women continued in 2013 and it was well received. The B2C (Business with Capacity and Capability), where women help women, is one of our pillars in our vision statement and we are fortunate to have members who can coach and mentor those who need to break into the world of business.
One cannot ignore the fact that business cannot be about profit alone anymore. Our planet is crying out loud to be managed with responsibility. We have sent out a clear message to our members that we must practice Sustainability. Towards this goal we conduct stage two of the programme 4S (For Sustainability), we will proceed with stages three and four in 2014. This initiative is funded by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development and we are grateful for their support.
As for the people, we continuously work toward our members’ professional development. In this context the NAWEM Toastmasters Club is being set up. I strongly urge each and every member to join to enhance her communication and leadership skills.
We continued to network in Sri Lanka in training and business development. NAWEM’s flag flew high when we were asked to participate in their Power Women Forum.
At home, many of our members have completed the Women Directors Onboarding programme and are registered with the WDO portal. Another project worthy of mention is our lecture series and this year we introduced the concept of Crowd Funding to our members and their associates.
Yes, many good things have happened in 2013. But there have been challenges. One of them has been the level of participation in the activities in NAWEM . In spite of several sterling programmes we have organized for our members, only the familiar faces can be seen. This is something I am going to work hard at changing. Our activities must attract the larger membership and I hope to get feedback as to how NAWEM can be relevant to each and every member.
The success in NAWEM is not achieved by the President alone. As Nelson Mandela has so often mentioned in his interviews, he has not single handedly created the huge changes in the political arena. In NAWEM I am greatly indebted to my committee with whom I continuously brainstorm to break new frontiers and seek advice on how to manage the tasks set before us.
If I have one wish for 2014, it will be to see NAWEM as the forerunner in women entrepreneurship in Malaysia and the region and I hope the members will participate in the programmes wholeheartedly.
With appreciation and gratitude to each and every one of you,
Happy New Year and an excellent 2014 for you and your family
Yours sincerelySarojini RuthPresident01st January 2014