Helping Bumiputera businesses take off
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.