“If you want to do something, do it and always be an evolving learner.”
These are some of the inspiring words Ms. Sujira Charoenjit, aka Ouy, shared about her recent experience with Kenan. Ouy is a retired bank clerk from Government Housing Bank, and she was a participant in “GHB Seniors Got Talent,” which aims to strengthen the entrepreneurship capacity of senior citizens. Right now, Ouy is devoting her time to building her organic product brand.
Her interest in organic products began when she was diagnosed with cancer 20 years ago. Ouy decided to take better care of her health and lifestyle ever since. Ouy began to learn about organic products to promote health and prevent diseases while asking local farmers for guidance.
Ouy’s plans started to take shape in 2013, when she purchased one acre of land at Nakhon Ratchasima to set up her farm. Going back and forth from Bangkok every weekend was demanding and tiring. However, the hard work did not stop Ouy from immersing herself in learning about farming and following her dream.
However, there were many obstacles to overcome. Ouy planned for retirement carefully, which enabled her to acquire the farm, yet her family disagreed with leaving a stable job to become a full-time organic business entrepreneur. She, therefore, decided to wait until she retired to start building the business side of the farm. Ouy worked as a bank clerk for many years, so business administration was a new challenge. Ouy had to start over, just at the time when many other people would be contemplating their retirement. She engaged several professional business advisors and also took the time to learn how to run a business herself. There was much trial-and-error.
Ouy then found out about Kenan’s training and the GHB Seniors Got Talent program; she shared her view on the program: “During the workshop, I got to meet many people and learned how to optimize my Facebook Business Page and select photos to promote the brand. This program has significantly developed my skills and inspired entrepreneurship.” Kenan led the GHB Seniors Got Talent project to equip senior citizens with entrepreneurship and online marketing skills. Before Ouy joined this program, she had promoted her product on her personal social media account, used word of mouth, and rented a shop front with her friend until the program introduced the new approach towards online marketing. Now she has a Facebook business page for her organic product called ‘Forest Me’ which was named after her brand.
“There must be no debt. Earn money first” is Ouy’s motto. During her years as a bank clerk, Ouy tried to make extra money to build her dream farm by being an instructor. She shares that running her own business has filled her heart with great joy as it means doing what she loves while providing an income to cover her expenses.
“Good health and wealth begin with us” is another of Ouy’s mantras; her organic farm business idea from a desire to promote self-care. Ouy shared that Kenan’s training helped her advance the business: “I would like to thank Kenan for providing knowledge, broadening my business world, and boosting my online marketing skills.” Ouy also shares some advice with other future entrepreneurs: “I think being a consistent learner is the key to success in the dynamic marketplace. If you stop, you will be left behind. Nowadays, consumer behavior has shifted to ordering online, so I had to adapt and think about how to sell my products online so that I can reach new audiences and grow my business.”
Kenan Foundation Asia partnered with the Government Housing Bank on The GHB Seniors Got Talent project to strengthen hundreds of businesses, including Ouy, to maximize their use of Facebook and access new markets in the digital age to ensure that no one will be left behind.
Find out more about the project here: www.kenan-asia.org/ghb-seniors-got-talent