It was her desperate search for domestic help that inspired Major Shera Ann Bosco to co-found the CARING MOMS social enterprise on Facebook in April 2016. Shera was still in the army when CARING MOMS was founded. It was a juggling act for her when the social enterprise began to grow.
“CARING MOMS is open to mothers and all women aged 18 and above. It’s not only about running a business of buying and selling, but it’s about getting connected to the community,” added the 42-year-old.
Having secured a scholarship from the National Defence University of Malaysia, she continued to serve 22 years in the Malaysian army. Shera takes great pride in her reliability and resilience.
“In my batch, there were 16 ladies out of 184 recruited. But after four-and-a-half years, only eight of the ladies were commissioned, including me,” said Shera, who has a degree in management technology.
“When it got too overwhelming, I decided that I couldn’t focus on my career and my social enterprise. I had to choose between the two. If I were to leave my social enterprise, so many people would be affected, but if I left my job, only I would be affected. So, I left my job at the army and focused full time on my social enterprise,” said Shera, who had opted for early retirement.
It’s no secret that much of the success of CARING MOMS hinges of the fact that it appeals to mothers from all walks of life. Knowing that many of these mothers needed a second income motivated Shera to provide this platform for them.
Three years on, CARING MOMS now has 72,000 members and 62,000 pending memberships.
“The objective (of CARING MOMS) is very simple. We want to economically empower women and mothers to give them something to earn and build a sustainable community. We want to create 50,000 job opportunities for mothers by the year 2021,” she said.
“There are a lot of obstacles when running this social enterprise with 72,000 women, but you need to stay focused on the mission,” she continued.
Much of how Shera runs the enterprise can be attributed to her tough military training.
“In the military, when you are given instruction, you must carry out the mission. There’s no such thing as you ‘cannot’ do it. Whatever the obstacles, you should never ever give up. This is the kind of message we want to send to mothers and women,” Shera said.
Shera shares in the joys and accomplishments of her members, some of which are life-changing experiences.
“Members tell us so many stories of how running their businesses through CARING MOMS has helped them put their kids through education, pay for the medical bills, buy birthday gifts for husbands, and even save marriages,” she shared.
Earlier this year, Shera was awarded the “Women of Exceptional Excellence Award 2019” by the Women Economic Forum.