There is no easy path to having a successful business. One needs to learn and work at the same time when managing their business.
Successful business owners understand the risk and potential rewards of starting a business. They put their knowledge into practice and learn from their success and failures.
The Bulletin met three successful entrepreneurs who are also the recipients of the Ilal Hijrah Award in entreprenuership for Zakat recipients during the Islamic new year of 1444 Hijrah celebration by the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) recently.
One of them was Managing Director of Harum Kindana Catering Salmiah binti Haji Tarang from Kampong Sungai Bunga, Tanjung Kindana in Kampong Ayer. She had to commute across the Brunei River and rent a car at the initial stage of her business.
Salmiah said she joined the Asnaf Zakat Empowerment Programme (PROPAZ) at the MoRA in 2008-2009.
“PROPAZ aimed to improve the quality of life of those affected by poverty by providing with the skills to secure better jobs or set up their own businesses,” she said.
“In 2015, I started my live cooking and catering business at residential areas and it started to flourish. However, as I stay in Kampong Ayer, there are some logistic challenges in terms of transporting my food and unfavourable weather conditions along the Brunei River.”
Salmiah, who was also the former nominee of PROPAZ Excellent Award in 2016 and also a nominee in Exemplary Individual recipient for PROPAZ category in 2017, highlighted the need to develop oneself. “Another important aspect is financial management. I joined a course to strengthen my knowledge on business.
“I wish to express my gratitude to PROPAZ Secretariat at the MoRA and Community Development Department at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) for providing me the opportunity as a trainee. I would like to thank all parties involved in fulfilling my dream,” Salmiah added.
On her catering business, she said it has been encouraging.
Having begun with only one catering order in 2010, three orders in 2011 and 10 orders in 2013, it continued to rise. “Beginning with only renting a car to manage my business in the early days, I now own a car which I bought in 2016.”
Another entrepreneur was the owner of Hazeeyah Agro Farm, Nur Haziyah binti Abdul Rahman.
Nur Hazeeyah said, “I wanted to improve my family’s living conditions. We were determined to be independent and not be dependent on any form of assistance.
“Alhamdulillah, our life is better now. I wish to convey my sincere gratitude and thanks to Brunei Islamic Religious Council at the MoRA, as they helped and assisted us in managing our business and took us to expos locally and abroad to introduce my products.”
Meanwhile the owner of AE Jaya Enterprise Ajis bin Dollah said how he produces house furniture has changed his life for the better. Ajis added that starting the business comes with its own challenges, but with determination and dedication, it has come into fruition.
The Ilal Hijrah, held to commemorate and enliven the Islamic new year of 1444 Hijrah, was organised by the MoRA. The Ilal Hijrah highlighted the migration and success of some people from the Asnaf Zakat recipients who have succeeded in developing themselves in terms of socio-economics and education as a source of inspiration for other Zakat groups in particular, and the community in general.