|Besides running a farm, Vị also works at an electrical appliance shop. — VNA/VNS Photo|
NGHỆ AN — Despite life being harsh for Hoàng Kim Vị, 30, from the very beginning, he still found his way to success as an entrepreneur, overcoming many hardships.
From youth, Vị knew that he was different because he did not have a capable pair of legs and couldn't walk properly. He became upset and felt guilty because of his disability.
“My family and friends are all very loving. They would never say things that hurt me," said Vị. "But that love also pressured me and eventually gave me a sense of laziness, not wanting to make my life better."
Through learning from successful neighbours, and through books and newspapers, Vị found that livestock production was suitable for his family. He opened his eco-farming project on his family's land plot to raise semi-wild chickens that could forage for food naturally on the hill.
Vị also learnt to make chicken feed made from various agricultural byproducts such as beer residue, peanut shells, banana stems and mulberry leaves, brewed with probiotics.
This feed leaves the chicken well-fed, increases immunity, limits disease and limits the use of antibiotics. After the process, the taste and quality of the chicken is great.
After receiving the support of VNĐ100 million (US$4,352) from the Youth Union and a programme to support disadvantaged entrepreneurs, Vị has more financial resources to build his start-up farm.
The farm currently has more than 500 chickens and 30 goats, buffaloes and pigs. From general farming, his family can amass around VNĐ150-200 million per year.
Aside from chickens, Vị also raises goats, buffaloes and cows. The farm's products have received good feedback from the market because they are produced in a clean and safe environment and are nutritious.
When starting his business, Vị encountered many obstacles, besides the fact that he is disabled. But the more difficulties he faces, the harder he tries.
He gets down and dirty and directly takes care of his livestock and learns techniques to care for and prevent diseases. His commercial geese and 400-700 chickens have been growing well.
From a young man with disabilities with the will to rise, Vi supports himself and his family, setting a positive example to others in his community.
“I am just a tiny grain of sand in the start-up movement. I'm lucky to have a good start because my family has land and a farm, and raising livestock is the common job of people who grew up in the countryside like me," Vị said.
According to Vị, livestock start-ups should be invested more methodically, applying science and technology to bring higher productivity, production and business with long-term development.
Although Vị's family is exporting and selling hundreds of chickens and geese, they mainly sell through traders and price squeezes can lead to instability in breeding and production.
Vị and his friends are building a product supply chain that would bring his products from the farm to the dinner table. They will also connect with restaurants to deliver regular food supplies with a commitment to clean products, stable prices and various items.
Vị hopes for the plan to be implemented soon since it will make farming more convenient and effective.
He is also planning to expand the farm to a larger scale by raising more catfish and earthworms, investing in breeding pigs to provide pigs for local breeders, and planting fruit trees and vegetables as food for livestock.
“In fact, start-ups often begin from scratch and with very few resources. The road to success is not without failure. Therefore, if there is support from organisations and unions, starting a business will be more convenient," Vị said.
During his high school years, Vị was not the best student, but he always tried to do the best in his studies and fit in with his classmates.
He previously studied industrial electricity at a vocational college in Vinh City with the thought of learning a profession so that he could open a shop and support himself, but some of his friends talked him out of it because of his limitations.
He still remembers the words of a friend when he returned from practice: "The electric pole is very high. You can't climb it. I won't even mention pulling the electric wire."
Such words gave Vi second thoughts about his studies and he quit, a decision he regrets to this day.
"When God closes one door, he will open another," said Vị.
He said that if he did not give up that course, he would not have thought about developing an ecological livestock farm.
Currently, along with his role as a farmer, the experiences he has learned at college have allowed him to find a second job at an electrical appliance factory near his home.
To some, what he is doing may be very small, but this is an opportunity for Vị to express himself and live everyday life like everyone else.
"I want to remind people with disabilities that they should not lock themselves into a box of their own prejudices, but instead confidently step by step remove their inferiority complex and fear, to move towards better things," he said.
Nguyễn Đức Thụ, Director of Nghệ An Provincial Youth Development Support Center, said: "Vị's project is still quite small compared to the start-up models of other youths in the province, but suitable for young people with the potential like Vị."
"Behind his disability is the will of a young man who knows how to overcome the situation. In the past two years, Vị's example has been a driving force for people with disabilities to be confident in life, boldly rising in economic development, and enriching themselves and society."
Despite his successes, Vị refuses to take himself too seriously.
"Life is already too miserable. Why not laugh?" he said.
"I'm always smiling, believing in life, believing that good things will come. For me loving is not difficult. Just open your heart, believe in people and live honestly, and there will be many surprises and much happiness for you." — VNS