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Empowering Local Entrepreneurs

sewing.pngMahani Abd Karim, the 50-year-old seamstress from Kampung Aji, Perak has set her sights on not just growing her modest tailoring business but also on helping other women in her village improve their standard of living. Mahani started tailoring some 20 years ago - offering her services to friends and family. It was a means for the mother of four, and whose husband was a petty trader, to supplement the family’s income. In 2009, she opened a shop at Bota Kanan, a nearby town. Though she earned a modest living through this venture, like any small entrepreneurs, Mahani lacked the resources to grow the business. Given her enthusiasm and interest to grow her business, UTP approached Mahani in 2016 to lead Kampung Aji’s tailoring initiative.“I started a company with my husband, called D’ Aji Fashion, and the plan is to gather together friends who sew, especially those from Kampung Aji. I want to get the young people in the village interested in tailoring, and give them training and guidance”, says the petite and soft-spoken entrepreneur who currently has two employees and one intern. Through a loan from UEM Group Bhd, which is one of UTP’s partners in this CSR initiative, Mahani is able to invest in new equipment, advertise, and bid for tailoring contracts. To date, the enterprise has completed a job for a local hospital and agricultural institute and is in the midst of securing a commission from a large retailer for the supply of baju kurung.