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“Sembang Sembang” in Kuching Features “New Opportunities for Sarawak Women"

Panel of Women Entrepreneurs for Sarawak Sembang Sembang. (U.S. Embassy photo)

Panel of Women Entrepreneurs for Sarawak Sembang Sembang.

On March 25, “Sembang Sembang” (Malay for “casual conversations”), a series of dynamic workshops for women entrepreneurs supported by the U. S. Embassy and Warisan Global, which debuted a year ago in KL, expanded into East Malaysia.  The Grand Margherita Hotel in Kuching served as the venue for this session which was organized by the Sarawak Development Institute in collaboration with the Women’s Bureau and Angkatan Zaman Mansang, a non-profit NGO in Sarawak which is concerned with community issues.  70 women entrepreneurs attended the workshop which featured a panel consisting of four Sarawak businesswomen, Ms. Sereni Linggi and Ms. Shentel of Sereni & Shentel Made in Borneo, Puan Hajah Sutin Sahmat, Executive Secretary to Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan Negeri, and Puan Ursula Unnie from SME Corp, Sarawak Branch.  The moderator was Ms. Maria Corazon, Managing Director of Faradale Media (M) Berhad. 

Following the theme of “New Opportunities for Sarawak Women – The New Frontier,” the panelists urged the participants to be creative and to be alert to business opportunities that are waiting to be tapped.  Sarawak is rich in natural resources and those can be the source of new businesses.  Sereni and Shentel displayed their classy and fashionable headbands which are the basis of their business.  In their comments they stressed that sometimes the best opportunity lies in something that we like to collect and wear.  Initially they made headbands as a hobby and then took the essential leap to designing their own headbands and using social networking for marketing.  Sereni & Shentel Made in Borneo headbands have now been featured twice in Malaysia Women’s Weekly magazine.  The event was covered by several representatives from the print media and was updated live on GEW_Malaysia Twitter, GEWMalaysia Facebook Fan Page, as well as the Sembang-Sembang Facebook Page.