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Spreading His Goat Luck Around
KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- It is amazing how the aroma of roast lamb can erase the weariness felt after a two-hour drive.
The writer and her photographer caught the delicious scent as soon as they arrived at the home of RezkiRich Farm, Nizar Rabawi in Kampung Banting, Sabak Bernam.
The 25-year-old promptly greeted his visitors and led us to his goat farm, located mere steps away from his house.
After a tour around the farm, we settled down under the verandah of his 'kampung' (village) style house.
Nizar served us "kambing golek" and began sharing with us the story of how his business grew from one goat to an average of 30 a month.
Nizar went into the goat-rearing business with his friend Hafiz Alimi at the end of 2013.
For over a year, both of them struggled. The most difficult was the first five months, when they were still seeking a market for their animals.
Despite moments where he felt like throwing in the towel, Nizar picked himself up and soldiered on. He addressed problems by consulting those more experienced and attended entrepreneurship courses organised by the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS).
After applying the knowledge he acquired on marketing, accounting and branding, his business prospered and started becoming known.
Today, RezkiRich Farm makes between RM20,000 and RM30,000 per month in sales.
The farm does more than supplying goats. It also offers goat-slaughtering and meat-jointing services, catering and "infaq" (disbursement) services, among others. The farm also produces its own brand of goat milk called "Susu Sunnah".
Despite the variety of services offered, Nizar feels like he could do more.
"I plan to diversify the business by producing goat-themed products such as t-shirts or car stickers. I also want to help others build their business," said the young entrepreneur who also introduced free-range farming to those who wish to start a business but lacked the capital.
When orders are aplenty, Nizar would engage the help of the villagers, thus providing them with a means for extra income.
Breeding livestock had not always been what the former student of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Munshi Abdullah wanted to do.
Nizar, who has a diploma in Building Services Engineering from Politeknik Shah Alam, always thought he would become an architect.
However, after two accidents, each time just after having started a new job in city, he decided to go back to his hometown.
"My plan was to take care of my parents, as my siblings have all moved out," said the fifth of six siblings.
His friend Hafiz, who was also from the same village, suggested he attend a livestock breeding course under the MJ Fatonah Entrepreneurship Academy.
The course, organised by Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor, inspired him to start a business in livestock breeding.
"We started right after I completed the course. We had one goat, then we received another two from Perangsang," he recalled.
Nizar said they chose to rear goats as it was easier to care for than chicken, aside from the animal being in demand these days.
"We help facilitate the "aqiqah" and "qurban" process for our customers. Besides that, mutton is also in demand among those who wish to donate to orphanages or 'tahfiz' centres," he said.
Nizar advised those interested in starting a business to not hesitate to make a move.
"There will be challenges, but look at them positively. The important thing is to take that first step. The rest will fall into place," he said.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Nizar is one of over 1,800 entrepreneurs who have benefited from the Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) under Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Berhad's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Unit, which began in 2013.
Its head, Fauzi Ghazali, emphasised that the unit's main objective was to boost socio-economic status of the Selangor people.
"We hope to improve their quality of life and assist in social development, which includes human capital development especially in Selangor," he said.
The company, among others, offers aid to target groups such as graduates, single mothers and the disabled so that they may attend courses to learn skills for livestock breeding, sewing, repairing air conditioners and the printing business, among others.
"There are two goals. One is to get them employed, another is for those who have the talent and interest to start their own business. Perangsang will provide the startup capital.
"The capital we give is usually not cash. We will give it in the form of equipment, such as sewing machines or livestock, for those venturing into livestock breeding," he explained.
According to Fauzi, Perangsang works with training providers comprising of entrepreneurs who have made it big.
Successful participants are then encouraged to provide training for others and help improve the socio-economy of the local community by providing job opportunities.
The effectiveness of Perangsang's CSR programmes in improving living standards has been recognised at the Asian level through the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards (Social Empowerment Category), which it received in June 2015.
In the function held during the CSR International Summit 2015 in Macau, Perangsang was shortlisted from among 300 companies in the continent nominated for the award.
Besides entrepreneurship programmes, Perangsang's CSR Unit also supports sports development in Selangor, especially football, swimming, cycling, bowling, badminton and squash.
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