It has been 1.5 years since the free Internet Marketing (IM) Program was started in June 2008 and nothing has so far been documented on this community service. So I thought maybe I should write something about it especially when we have just started 2 new groups (G10 & G11) on 28/9 and 29/9/09 respectively.
Some Histories of PECC
Personally I have been a full time internet marketer for the past 8+ years and during that time, I have been sharing/mentoring a small group of friends in my home. Besides friends, I have also taken in a few total strangers who somehow came to know me and requested to join us. Eventually we all became friends. So we have been meeting quietly and having discussions on every Friday night till the early Saturday morning.
Then came the 12th General Election on the 8 March 09 when I signed up to become a volunteer as a polling/counting agent for YB Sim Tze Tzin (Pantai Jerejak State Assemblyman) , and eventually became one of his Special Assistants for about a year before I left to focus on PECC. During the early period when I was with him, Komag started to retrench workers and we were trying to find ways to assist those who got retrenched but we discovered what we have been doing were basically fighting fires. Even if we could get jobs for them, it does not mean that they will not lose their jobs in the future. And conventionally, government will just keep trying to create jobs to keep the people employed.
But however, with the availability of technology especially the Internet, unconventional methods could be used. Example, teach the masses internet marketing so that they could have a skill to survive on their own instead of being part of the “MNC slavery” only. It is easier for the people to start their own internet business because the cost is very much lower compared to the conventional brick and mortar businesses, plus the risk is minimal.
And so I gathered about 15 of YB Sim’s election volunteers and started to form a small group to teach them IM weekly with the support of YB Sim who actually allowed us to use his service center for the training. Before long, through words of mouth, more people from all walks of life got to know about this free IM mentoring program and started to join us. The original group grew big to the extend that the service center was not able to cope anymore that we have to break up into more groups. This went on
for about 7 months until January 2009 when everything was starting to “break-up” because the service center could no longer cope with the “load”. Electricity overloads, aircond failed, lack of spaces, etc. At that time, it has already grown to 6 groups with a total of more than 200 members. You should have seen those ladies coming for the IM classes straight from work, with nice make-ups but all smeared when they left due to the heat and perspiration. 🙂
The Birth of Penang e-Community Club (PECC)
And that was the time when a few of us decided that it was time to move out and get ourselves a proper training center where people could be trained in a more conducive and comfortable environment. At the same time, we started to form a committee and registered our organization legally with the Malaysian Registrar of Societies (ROS) under the official name of “Kelab e-Komuniti Pulau Pinang” and was subsequently approved on the 12 March 2009.
At the same time, we have found a new place at the Sri Sungai Nibong Complex with reasonably rental and ample parking spaces in February 2009 and have been operating our IM program from there since. After having moved to our own place, we’ve added another 5 more groups and the membership eventually grew to more than 400 people as at 1 Oct 09. The cost of setting up the PECC training center was contributed entirely by the participants themselves as well as some funding from YB Sim.
IM Classes Conducted Outside PECC
Other than just doing the IM programs at our own training center, we are also working closely with YWCA to conduct IM classes for the single mothers and cancer survivors in YWCA on every Monday morning. At the same time, we are also currently working closely with Penang St. Nicholas to explore ways to teach the visually impaired the IM skills to enable them to be financially independent and to regain their self-esteem.
Over at our own PECC center, we also have participants who are visually impaired and physically challenged. Internet business is suitable for them because it provides a level playing field. Besides IM, we are also planning to conduct free internet classes for senior citizens to get them to become net savvy so as to enable them to use technology to improves their lives.
All IM trainings are currently conducted totally free as a community service and all the mentors/trainers are either full time or part time internet marketers themselves and they are all unpaid volunteers. The age range of the participants are between 12 to 60 years old.
** Next Posting: The Objectives of PECC