Help­ing Bu­mi­put­era busi­nesses take off

New Straits Times - - News -

BU­MI­PUT­ERA busi­ness own­ers have ben­e­fited from Ma­jlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) loans.

This fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance has al­lowed Aziati Mo­hamed Salleh and Muham­mad Nazri Ab­dul­lah to grow their busi­nesses.

Aziati, 47, the proud owner of Aziati En­ter­prise, a cur­tain com­pany, said the loans had en­abled her to im­prove her busi­ness.

Be­gin­ning as a shop at Aked Mara Kuala Kangsar, Aziati now owns a mini fac­tory at Dataran Aman Jaya Sauk.

“I started sewing ten years ago af­ter learn­ing the skill from a neigh­bour. At that time, my in­ten­tion was to gen­er­ate ex­tra in­come for my fam­ily as my hus­band worked as a gar­dener,” In 2005, Aziati learnt to sew

baju ku­rung to help her neigh­bour com­plete or­ders un­til she re­ceived or­ders of her own.

In 2010, she ap­plied for a Mara loan. As a first-time bor­rower, she was el­i­gi­ble to borrow RM5,000, and she used it to buy ma­te­rial from China.

Mara also of­fered many cour­ses, which Aziati took to up­grade her skills.

She took cour­ses on en­trepreneur­ship, ac­count­ing and mar­ket­ing, as well as mo­ti­va­tion.

In 2013, Aziati took a RM10,000 loan with the aim of buy­ing a shoplot to be turned into fac­tory.

With the loan, she has man­aged to add six sewing ma­chines and four bor­der sewing ma­chines, and ren­o­vate the shop lot.

Aziati re­ceived her big break in 2015 when she won the ten­der to sew cur­tains for Sul­tan Azlan Shah MRSM. She com­pleted the order within the three months stip­u­lated.

She also em­ploys five housewives to work at her fac­tory from Mon­days to Fri­days, as well as an em­ployee at her shop in Kuala Kangsar.

“I am grate­ful for Mara’s help and I am now able to of­fer jobs to the lo­cal housewives in Sauk and Kuala Kangsar,” said Aziati, who earns be­tween RM15,000 and RM20,000 a month.

For food busi­ness op­er­a­tor Muham­mad Nazri, 27, the loans have al­lowed him to turn his pas­sion into se­ri­ous money.

Nazri, who has three main busi­nesses un­der his belt — restau­rant and ca­ter­ing, sam­bal PKC and Hada Cok­lat, said he was lucky to have re­ceived coach­ing and guid­ance from Mara of­fi­cers.

“In­stead of just giv­ing loans, the of­fi­cers mon­i­tor and ad­vise me,” said the for­mer Seri Iskan­dar Univer­siti Te­knologi Mara stu­dent.

Nazri said his mother be­gan op­er­at­ing a stall from the Kuala Kangsar Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil in 2013 and to­gether, they started the PKC food busi­ness. Strate­gi­cally lo­cated in front of Sul­tan Azlan Shah MRSM, he was then given an op­por­tu­nity to op­er­ate and man­age the col­lege can­teen in 2015.

Nazri ob­tained a RM9,000 loan from the Pu­tra pro­gramme.

The pro­gramme is an ini­tia­tive by Mara to help youth and the younger gen­er­a­tion, es­pe­cially stu­dents from Mara ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions, to start busi­nesses.

Af­ter he fin­ished his stud­ies in 2012, he took a few Mara cour­ses be­fore ap­ply­ing for the loan and grant.

He plans to open an­other restau­rant and a food truck in two years to ex­pand his busi­ness.

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