PONTIAN: Five entrepreneurs who have benefited through loans provided for their business expansion were recently selected to receive a special award by Tekun Nasional.
The recipients are fried onion entrepreneur Sarinah Makin, 44; coconut cookies entrepreneur Poniah Jais, 57; small-scale trader Zaidi Husin, 40; spring roll entrepreneur Zainor Hisham Bahari, 42; and coconut milk and kerisik entrepreneur Zakaria Omar, 40.
Most of the products are for local consumption, except for Zainor's spring roll skins that are exported to Brunei and Saudi Arabia.
Sarinah, who has 12 years' experience in the fried onion business, said she applied for a loan facility of RM20,000 to start her business which has been thriving since.
Poniah was grateful to Tekun Nasional for the RM10,000 aid for him to start his business.
Zakaria's kerisik have not only been selling in Johor, but in Penang and Kedah as well.
Zaidi, a small-scale trader, had applied for the loan twice. Starting with RM20,000 and now RM40,000 as his revolving capital, he finds that the payment installments were not such a burden to him.
Zainor had proven his ability as a successful entrepreneur when his spring roll business penetrated the Brunei and Saudi Arabian markets after starting-up his company with just a loan of RM15,000.
He said that, the small interest rate by Tekun Nasional does not burden the entrepreneur at all.
Tekun managing director and chief executive officer, Datuk Abdul Rahim Hassan said that about RM9 million in aid had been channelled towards 841 entrepreneurs around the Pontian parliamentary area, while another RM5 million were given to 457 entrepreneur in the Tanjung Piai parliamentary areas.
He said, Tekun offers a minimum loan of RM500, to a maximum of RM50,000 for any entrepreneurs who are interested to start a business.