ISKANDAR PUTERI: Shahsarwan Maskan started out earning an average monthly income of RM3,000 by printing and selling T-shirts at his home in Taman Sri Lambak, Kluang.
Six years on, he is now taking home between RM20,000 and RM30,000 a month with a factory in operation.
The 32-year-old is one success story of Azam Kerja Muafakat Johor, a state government initiative to help entrepreneurs in the lower income group boost their earnings and competitiveness.
Shahsarwan, who has been in the garment printing industry since 2011, said he got his big break when the state government, through Azam Kerja, offered a heat press machine to boost his business.
“I received the machine, worth about RM4,000, in 2015 and business started booming. I even managed to open a factory.
“It was no easy feat but the encouragement and help I received through the programme made my success possible,” he told The Star.
As a reward for his hard work and dedication, Shahsarwan was given a new industrial sewing machine worth RM2,000 during an Income Generator presentation ceremony through Azam Kerja here on Monday.
He was among 212 enterpreneurs, including 184 new recipients, who received aid under the initiative from Johor Unity and Human Resource Committee chairman R. Vidyananthan.
The event was held in conjunction with the Johor Berkemajuan expo.
Food stall operator R. Geetha, 31, received a commercial rice cooker to boost her food business.
“I received a roti canai kitchen set last year, and that helped expand my business,” she said. “I started selling nasi lemak bungkus but thanks to Azam Kerja, I have been able to double my profit.”
Geetha added that the new rice cooker would enable her to prepare at least 100 packets of rice at a time.
Vidyananthan said some 750 enterpreneurs have benefitted from the Income Generator programme, which is one of four under Azam Kerja.
The other programmes include short courses for entrepreneurs, work-from-home plans to assist single mothers, and Azam Kerja @ Industry, which guides youths into skilled jobs.
“In the two years since Azam Kerja was launched in 2015, some 1,378 participants have benefitted from these programmes,” Vidyananthan said.
“We hope to help more people, especially from the lower income group, the underprivileged and single parents, in the near future.”
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