Ecogn s ng u s an ng Bu­mi­put­era En­trepreneurs

Mara has pro­duced and as­sisted one mil­lion en­trepreneurs

New Straits Times - - News - SARAH RAHIM KUALA LUMPUR news@nst.com.my

MAJLIS Amanah Rakyat (Mara) has helped to de­velop Bu­mi­put­era en­trepreneurs for the past 5 decades.

The govern­ment agency cel­e­brated out­stand­ing Bu­mi­put­era en­trepreneurs in the coun­try, in­clud­ing those who have ven­tured abroad, dur­ing the Mara En­tre­pre­neur Awards (AURA) which were held on Thurs­day.

AURA2016washel­datthePremiera Ho­tel in Kuala Lumpur, and high­lighted win­ners in 11 cat­e­gories.

The awards were pre­sented by Ru­ral and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Is­mail Sabri Yaakob.

Is­mail said Mara has to date pro­duced and as­sisted about one mil­lion en­trepreneurs.

“For the next 50 years, Mara will guide Bu­mi­put­era en­trepreneurs to be­come lead­ers, both in the re­gion as well as glob­ally,” he said.

Is­mail said Mara has con­trib­uted to the de­vel­op­ment of about 70 per cent of mid­dle class Bu­mi­put­era.

“The mid­dle-class will help to el­e­vate the so­cio-eco­nomic sta­tus of the Bu­mi­put­era, even­tu­ally be­com­ing the cat­a­lyst for the na­tion’s de­vel­op­ment,” he said.

Un­der 2017 Bud­get, Mara is al­lo­cat­ing RM600 mil­lion for en­tre­pre­neur de­vel­op­ment which in­cludes train­ing, food truck pro­grammes, Halal Hub, and mo­bilepreneur among oth­ers. Th­ese ini­tia­tives are ex­pected to help about 3,500 en­trepreneurs.

“MARA also has a RM600 mil­lion re­volv­ing fund for en­trepreneurs based on el­i­gi­bil­ity. Our tar­get is to de­velop 20,000 Bu­mi­put­era for this year ,” he said.

He said Mara also has 7,206 busi­ness lots that give out about RM2 bil­lion in rev­enue per an­num.

“This ef­fort will also pro­vide job op­por­tu­ni­ties to up to 19,734 peo­ple,” he said.

Is­mail said Mara will also fo­cus on the de­vel­op­ment of en­trepreneurs through its strate­gic em­bed­ded pro­grammes that in­still the cul­ture of en­trepreneurism among stu­dents in its many in­sti­tu­tions.

“Un­der­stand­ing the need to ven­ture into new in­dus­tries such as aero­space, rails and bio­preneur, MARA has signed var­i­ous MoU with key play­ers of th­ese in­dus­tries, to spear­head the de­vel­op­ment of th­ese in­dus­tries and foster and en­cour­age their par­tic­i­pa­tion,” he said.

AURA was in­cepted in 2006 to gauge the progress of those re­ceiv­ing MARA en­trepreneur­ship aid to be­come role model to other en­trepreneurs.

The En­tre­pre­neur Fig­ure Award went to Gad­ing Ken­cana Sdn Bhd, an en­ergy ser­vice com­pany which pro­vides var­i­ous ser­vices in­clud­ing util­ity scale so­lar farms, so­lar street lights, en­ergy man­age­ment ser­vices and so­lar PV panel main­te­nance ser­vice.

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Datuk Guntor Tobeng said he was in­ter­ested in the re­new­able en­ergy busi­ness as he be­lieved it would be the trend for the fu­ture.

Guntor said he was grate­ful for the help he re­ceived from Mara since he started his busi­ness 15 years ago.

“There were too many con­trac­tors at that time so I did not want to com­pete fiercely among one an­other in a sat­u­rated mar­ket. I pref­ered to start some­thing new,”he­said.

“When I first started my busi­ness I re­ceived a grant to pro­duce cat­a­logues for my busi­ness and also on mar­ket­ing ef­forts which al­lowed me to boost my brand­ing,” he said.

The com­pany grew from a hum­ble be­gin­ning by pro­vid­ing gar­den lights and street lights.

Among other forms of as­sis­tance pro­vided by Mara was the Baron pro­gramme, amount­ing to RM5 mil­lion with a com­pet­i­tive ‘hi­bah’ rate for a so­lar farm in Malacca which cost about RM100mil­lion.

He said it was not al­ways easy for en­trepreneurs to get loans from banks but Mara al­ways ren­dered its help to Bu­mi­put­era en­trepreneurs.

Guntor said he braved through the up and downs in busi­ness with his wife, Datin Has­nah Awang who is also the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the com­pany.

For The Woman En­tre­pre­neur Award, Wi­jasa Me­dia Sdn Bhd chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Az­lynda Jawawi emerged as win- ner in the cat­e­gory.

Az­lynda, 38, said the com­pany is the only Bu­mi­put­era Sarawak-based ad­ver­tis­ing agency that was reg­is­tered with all me­dia agen­cies in the coun­try.

“We pro­vide con­tent and ad­ver­tis­ing through var­i­ous me­dia plat­forms in­clud­ing ra­dio and tele­vi­sion, as well as dig­i­tal buntings.

Az­lynda said, for dig­i­tal bunting busi­ness, she re­ceived a con­ces­sion from De­wan Ban­daraya Kuch­ing Utara to ex­pand the busi­ness.

“I sought help from Mara for more fund­ing to ex­pand the busi­ness as I did not have suf­fi­cient funds, “she said.

“I am also an alumni of Mara Ju­nior Sci­ence Col­lege in Taip­ing and had re­ceived fund­ing from Mara for my ter­tiary study,” she said.

The Young En­tre­pre­neur Award went to Agro High­lands En­ter­prise chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Sharol Hafizi Ja­maludin

Sharol said he started off with fund­ing from his fam­ily to plant straw­ber­ries for com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion.

He said the com­pany pro­duces about 200 kilo­grammes of straw­ber­ries per week and it is sold to cus­tomers as well as turned into straw­berry jam and juice.

He said he re­ceived help from Mara in terms of per­sonal coach­ing, mar­ket­ing and train­ing.

“Mara Pa­hang has helped me a lot while the busi­ness was grow­ing,” he said.

The com­pany now owns 32-units of chalets in Cameron High­lands from an ini­tial eight units.

“We are plan­ning to open a 4.8 hectare farm to plant 500,000 saplings and pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal youth with an in­ter­est in the field,” he said.

The cri­te­ria that de­ter­mine the dis­tri­bu­tion of funds is as fol­lows:

DATUK GUNTOR TOBENG

Gad­ing Ken­cana Sdn Bhd man­ag­ing di­rec­tor

Ru­ral and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Is­mail Sabri Yaakob (cen­tre) with Mara En­tre­pre­neur Awards (AURA) 2016 win­ners dur­ing the award-giv­ing cer­e­mony at Premiera Ho­tel in Kuala Lumpur.

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