A place for aspiring hawkers

A place for aspiring hawkers

Unlike other hawker centres, Kampung@Simpang Bedok at Bedok Market Place was specially set up to help aspiring hawkers try their hand at running a business.

And to help them, their monthly rentals are adjusted based on their financial backgrounds.

It opened in October last year and is run by social enterprise Best Of Asia, a group of 12 friends from various professions. They invested some $500,000 in the venture.

Mr Lionel Lye, 54, its managing director, said that tenants pay up to $3,288 in rent a month.

He said: "We work with individuals to come up with different rental structures.

"We also give interested parties a chance to try running a stall for between six weeks and three months - with no long contracts.

"They can continue running their stalls after this if they want to."

The 800-seater, 32-stall space, is the country's first privately-run hawker centre. It is 10,000 sq ft big, about the size of two basketball courts.

Business is, though, quite slow. Mr Lye, who is also a renovator, said that this is partly because it is surrounded by many popular eating spots.

Also, Kampung@Simpang Bedok is on the second floor of the Bedok Market Place, making it less visible to passers-by.

He said he had approached Madam Fion Phua to set up her flea market there to help attract more customers.

Said Mr Lye: "People who drop by could then eat and drink here and help boost business."

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