Build Your Future Programme: Impactful Giving Through Adult Education and Life-Training

“I’m truly grateful to have participated in Alpha’s BYF project. The content covered over the 4 months have given me the knowledge and confidence-boost I needed. It feels fantastic! Thank you, Alpha.”


As part of its corporate giving initiative, Alpha Development successfully launched a pilot training Build Your Future Programme (BYF) in January 2021.

The 4-month programme covered 6 learning courses designed to help an inaugural intake of 8 Singapore-based, female, foreign domestic workers, aged 34 to 52, who, in traditional set-ups, would have limited opportunities in personal and financial growth.

The outcome? Our training enabled these women to develop their communication and interpersonal skills, understand finance management, and enhance their entrepreneurship skills. Following the course, they were invited to use their learnings to present their business plans to a group of business professionals.

“It’s amazing to see the impact this training session has had on participants. Personal development, understanding financial management, and using design thinking methods to support business communication and overall decision-making, can have life-changing effects,” says Jen Macapagal, Programme Manager at Alpha Development.

The Importance of Personal Development

The programme began with two sessions – Growth Mindset and Adaptability, by Wai Sing Yong, and Communications Principle, by Rebecca McPherson.

The sessions primarily focused on understanding each participants’ narrative and how these affected the different relationships in their lives. They encouraged participants to reflect on their personal goals and challenges, creating action learning plans, and building trust through effective communications using the tools shared by Wai Sing and Rebecca.

Annie Mirasol, one of the participants who aims to start a rental property business in the Philippines, said she now recognises the importance of communication following an activity delivered by Rebecca.

“We drew shapes by listening to instructions from our peers. I found this particularly helpful in listening and communicating more effectively,” said Annie.


Understanding Financial Management and Business Risks

We introduced participants to two independent faculty members who shared their expertise in financial management and business risks.

Independent financial consultant, Janus Migalbin, delivered a Growth-Oriented Mindset Towards Finance, enabling participants to understand how their current financial commitments impact their plans.

“The finance management sessions put things into perspective for me, and I’ve already made changes.”


Participants worked on weekly cash flow tracking to help them get started on their savings habit. A session by Ejae Magno, on Understanding Risks was beneficial for them to understand the potential risks that may occur when executing business plans.

“Participants have shared the positive impact the training has had on their finances. Many of them have said they’ve started to think twice before spending, using techniques taken from the sessions, like writing a shopping list, opening a new savings account, and not buying unnecessary items,” says Jen.


Immersing into the Design-thinking Process

Jon Hoel, Innovator SG Co-Managing Partner and one of Alpha’s volunteer faculty, led the final two sessions. The Interactive Design-Thinking Process Workshop enabled participants to visualise themselves in the next 5 and 10 years, and encouraged them to reflect on their business and personal goals.

Jon also introduced the business model canvas, which participants found particularly useful during the preparation and presentation of their business plans.

Colleagues at Alpha Development also shared their skills, reviewing business plans, and providing additional support to prepare participants for the final presentation day.


The first step into the real world of personal achievement

“The BYF has been a big success with everyone’s involvement,” says Esther Chan, APAC Programme Manager. “I appreciate the participants’ business ideas and am amazed by their motivation. I’m hopeful that, with their determination, their business plans will come into fruition.”

As a culmination of their training journey, on April 25, the participants presented their business ideas to a panel made up of experts; Serene Mahaffy, corporate trainer and executive coach, Joanna Blanding, a social entrepreneur based in Singapore, Marivic Castro-Clarin, Philippine Embassy – Welfare Officer, Maryel Roman-Price, Adobe (Sydney) APAC DX Commercial Demand Generation Manager, and Paul Monk, CEO at Alpha Development. The participants received professional, insightful feedback on their plans.

“These sessions have really knocked some of my barriers down. It feels good to say I can finally reach my potential using the knowledge I have gained.”


With the success of this pilot, Alpha Development heartfully congratulates the first batch of participants and wish them the best in the future. The BYF next intake will be during the first quarter of 2022.

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