It was a wet, humid evening and driving through bad traffic added to her frustration and despair.
She had gone through, what she felt was the final attempt to get some form of support for a business that she had been working on for quite some time. Her passion to merge heritage with contemporary fashion was so strong but her confidence that it would succeed was starting to slowly wane off after another failure to secure support for her custom handmade women shoes business Nur Hidayah Hassan just did not feel like going home alone.
She needed to be with company and decided to seek solace at her parent’s house for dinner.
She remembered the heavy rain battering her windscreen and was thankful that she reached her parents’s home safely, though her feeling of despair was starting to grow. Her mother had prepared dinner and the television set was switched on to the Astro Awani Channel.
She was about to pour out her frustration to her parents when the TV announced a business pitch competition called SUPERB, organised by Unit Peneraju Agenda Bumiputera (TERAJU).
This programme encouraged potential and existing entrepreneurs 40 years and below, to pitch their creative and innovative business ideas, for a chance to win up to RM500 thousand grant.
The accounting and finance graduate from the University of Exeter, UK clearly recalled the immediate feeling of hope started to emerge and she immediately took down the details of the competition.
The rest was history that kicked-start her entrepreneurial success story.
Nur Hidayah was happy to share her wonderful memories when her application was shortlisted by TERAJU. She was then invited to participate in a boot camp organised by TERAJU to strengthen her business idea and proposal.
A number of business coaches were made available, who guided participants on how to highlight the salient aspects of their business ideas and to refine their financial forecasts. The boot camp also took them through mock presentations, to build confidence as well as to experience potential questions from the panel of judges.
The boot camp tremendously helped Nur Hidayah and the other participants to face the panel on the day of the presentation. Nur Hidayah recalled how her nerves were getting the better of her on that day, but the advise and guidance given during the boot camp – to be well prepared, to persevere, to give her best shot and to be precise, concise and passionate about her business – helped her to sail through.
Nur Hidayah was among 25 SUPERB participants who made it to the finals. She later became one of the 13 winners in series one (1) SUPERB 2014. In the month of April 2014, Nur Hidayah was among the winners of SUPERB grant who received their certificates from YAB Prime Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Since then, Nur Hidayah has never looked back. She went on to successfully create her business â€œCipelaâ€ to design, create and market fashionable ladies shoes made of songket. Her business has now penetrated foreign markets including Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Turkey, Germany dan Europe. She has also managed to win the heart of â€˜Isetanâ€™ to market her products as part of their fashion collection during promotional events at its KLCC outlet. Cipela shoes has also caught the attention of local celebrities and style icons including Datoâ€™ Siti Nurhaliza, Yasmin Hani, Fasha Sandha,Daphne Iking and Nora Danish. Browse the full Cipela collections at www.cipelashoes.com.
In 2014, Nur Hidayah received the Broadband Empowered Entrepreneur Awards (BEE) from Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) which honoured outstanding and successful broadband entrepreneurs. Nur Hidayah added another feather to her entrepreneurial cap when she received the IKON Wanita Muda 2015 Award from the Prime Minister.
The award recognises the achievements and contributions of young Malay women to their field of expertise.
Nur Hidayah highly encourages those who have the passion and dreams to become successful entrepreneurs to start at the drawing board – to come up with creative and innovative business ideas.
She added that the Government has made available various platforms to help kick-start as well as boost Bumiputera entrepreneurs, SUPERB being one of the latest initiatives. SUPERB has helped her realise her entrepreneurial dreams and she hoped that other budding entrepreneurs with creative and innovative business ideas, will also grab the opportunity to participate in SUPERB 2016.
For further information on SUPERB (Skim Usahawan Permulaan Bumiputera), please visit http://superb.teraju.gov.my/