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  • Wartawan Nabalu News

Entrepreneur’s resilience results in a successful business


17 April 2024

By Nabalu News Journalist

MEMBAKUT: Jainifor binti Soh Teck Sing, 46, is from Kg Viging Ulu Bongawan but relocated to her husband’s village in Kg Bawan Membakut. She is passionate about business ventures as a source of income.


She has a strong interest in business and has had experience running a grocery store in Kg Viging Bongawan. However, due to the lack of management support, she had to close the store after operating it for five years from 2011 to mid-2016.


“I had to close the store as there was no one to manage it although it operated for 5 years,” she shared.


“When I started my first business, I faced several challenges, including capital where I used my own savings as capital for the store. Employees was difficult to find to manage the store as I was working and could only take time off on weekends,” she said adding that sourcing products was also difficult.


“Finding suppliers for the grocery store was a challenge, especially when it came to getting credit from them. Since I was located in Membakut, it was not possible for me to monitor the store daily.”


“Despite these challenges, I still want to reopen the grocery store in the future because the returns and income I received from it were worth the effort.”


“I am currently running "Friends Gallery," a business that provides box rental services (vendor) and sells cosmetic products. The initial loan for this business was RM 4,000 from TEKUN, and I also used my own savings.”


“The challenges faced in this business include monitoring the items placed in the rented boxes, dealing with various types of tenants, and preventing theft. It is important to ensure that the cosmetic products are original and have approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency. Additionally, maintaining consistent pricing across all boxes and dealing with payment delays from tenants are major challenges.”


To improve and enhance her shop and services she had taken three TEKUN loans.


“The first loan was in 2018 for RM 4,000, and it has been fully repaid, while the second loan was in 2020 for RM 7,000, and it has also been fully repaid. The third loan was in 2023 for RM 10,000, and I am still making payments on it.”


In the future, she wants to reopen her grocery store in Bongawan, open a bookstore and a printing outlet.


"If fate favours me with another chance, I would gladly seize it by securing another TEKUN loan to create these businesses," she enthused, adding that her hope is that these aspirations will transcend mere wishes and manifest into reality into her entrepreneurial journey.


“I also hope that my current store will continue to operate and help many small entrepreneurs. If I have the opportunity, I would expand my business by opening another store. I hope that these aspirations will be realized,” she enthused.


Recently the Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Datuk Ewon Benedick paid her a visit.


This visit proved to be a significant boost for Janifor, injecting motivation and encouragement into her business endeavors.


She expressed her gratitude and happiness, emphasising that Datuk Ewon's visit demonstrated genuine care for entrepreneurs like herself and for the entire entrepreneurial community in the surrounding area.


This uplifting visit not only provided Jainifor with a sense of validation but also served as a reminder of the importance of continuous improvement and growth in her business. It inspired her to strive for excellence and enhance her operations, ensuring that she can better serve her customers and contribute to the local economy.


She encourages young entrepreneurs starting their business, saying “I would advise them to persevere and not easily give up.


Always strive to improve and be prepared for the ups and downs of business. Find a business that can sustain itself and consistently seek out customers. It is important to continue learning by attending courses or workshops related to business to gain knowledge and experience. Let us all continue to advance in business and improve our living standards.”

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