Helping Improve the Quality of Life of Women in Jitra, Kedah
Established in 2015, Nazkids is a social enterprise that empowers the local women in Jitra, Kedah through entrepreneurship by giving them training on how to make clothing. The social enterprise then sells the clothing online to sustain the business.
How It Started
In 2012, Baitulhusna Ahmad Zamri, the founder of Nazkids, was still working full time. She had an idea to start a business. In 2015, she decided to return to her hometown of Jitra to put her plan into action.
She started with clothing for children, but from customer feedback, she eventually ended up producing clothing for babies.
“What we observed before we started Nazkids through engaging with the local women here is most of them did not have a higher education qualification. Most of them graduated from high school, and because of that, it was hard for them to get a job,” she added.
At that time, the economy in Jitra was quite bad. For example, 50% of shop lots have closed down. Factories were also in the same boat. Baitulhusna had been going overseas to volunteer, but she decided it was time to go back home to help people from her own town. She finds fulfillment in helping people.
“We started Nazkids with only one beneficiary Atiqah in 2015, and we had 100 customers. Atiqah eventually brought in other women. We were impacting five beneficiaries per year,” said Baitulhusna.
Training Women to Sew
Atiqah, the first beneficiary, started with only basic knowledge of sewing in 2015. Since then, her life had improved financially and economically, until she was able to support her family. Currently, she is able to sew most of the products offered by Nazkids. Besides that, she is also able to train the other beneficiaries to sew.
Atiqah’s successful journey has inspired Baitulhusna to continue to train more women to sew so that her success can be replicated.
In 2018, Baitulhusna started offering free sewing training three times a year. To date, 150 classes have been conducted. She was very happy with the positive engagement and interaction from the community.
Growing the Business
Nazkids is a part of the Pemangkin Usahawan Sosial Hebat (PUSH) programme, and supported by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC). PUSH is a scale-up programme with an ambition to grow social enterprises and increase their social impact through a personalised capacity building and skills development training.
“PUSH has helped Nazkids by increasing the number of beneficiaries. We managed to do quite a number of free training sessions in Jitra for the young women here. We hope to engage with more beneficiaries that can come forward to work for us,” said Baitulhusna.
The programme enabled Nazkids to expand its facilities, with one room dedicated to teaching and training.
“Besides that, PUSH also provided us with insightful one-to-one business coaching, in order to understand our social enterprise journey better. In addition, we also got to know the other social enterprises in Malaysia. We were able to collaborate with each other to improve our communities together,” she added.
“In 2020, we impacted around 20 beneficiaries per year and we had grown our customer base to 1,000. In our facility, we have 10 women working full time. Besides that, we have 15 to 20 part-timers,” said Baitulhusna.
“We are proud that during the pandemic in 2020, instead of laying people off, we engaged them to work from home. We bought the machinery and materials and sent them to our beneficiaries’ homes, so that they could continue sewing for us at home,” she added.
“Our response to the pandemic was very fast and timely. In the first week of the lockdown here, we already started sewing fabric masks,” she said.
In fact, Nazkids started a crowdfunding campaign, where the public was invited to donate RM5 to sew one fabric mask. A total of 5,000 masks were produced and distributed by Nazkids’ network of NGOs and social enterprises to deserving recipients from the underprivileged and marginalised communities.
Moreover, the women are encouraged to take their own orders. Moving forward, Nazkids would like to create a system where the women can sell products they sew by themselves.
How You Can Help
Baitulhusna said that the beneficiaries would be very happy if you bought a product instead of giving a donation. It would mean a lot to the women and serve as a form of encouragement.