Wednesday June 27, 2012
Loans from Tekun Nasional is a big boost for entrepreneurs
By ELWEEN LOKE
SHARINA Zaidun’s dream to operate a pre-school could have remained a dream, if it was not for Tekun Nasional.
In 2005, she applied for a RM30,000 loan from Tekun, which enabled her to establish not one but three pre-schools in Seri Manjung.
Three years ago, Sharina took another RM50,000 loan to expand her business and today, is the successful owner of four kindergartens and five nurseries with 28 teachers on her payroll.
“I will not be where I am today had it not been for Tekun.
“The loan facility from Tekun has turned my life around,” said the 49-year-old, who was one of the six Tekun Outstanding Entrepreneurs Award recipients.
The awards were handed out during a Tekun luncheon with entrepreneurs from Beruas, Teluk Intan, Bagan Datoh, Pasir Salak and Parit at the Marina Island Resort in Lumut.
Tekun managing director Datuk Abdul Rahim Hassan said the agency’s role was not only to help small and medium enterprise owners to kickstart their ventures but also to help them expand.
Abdul Rahim, who is also Tekun chief executive officer, said the agency under the Agriculture and Agro-based Ministry had provided micro-credit loans to 215,608 Bumiputra entrepreneurs since it was established in 1998.
He said Tekun had collected RM1.3bil out of the RM2.1bil it has loaned out over the past 14 years.
The figure equated to seven out of 10 borrowers having repaid their loans.
“The repayment rate is encouraging and I hope it can continue to increase,” he said, adding that the majority of defaulters were those who were facing financial difficulty.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said Tekun had helped people escape poverty through entrepreneurship.
Dr Zambry, who is also Pangkor assemblyman, later gave out cheques worth RM1.8mil to 119 successful applicants on behalf of Tekun.
Some RM206mil in loans has been disbursed to 14,338 successful applicants nationwide between January and May.