Helping Malaysian youths to become entrepreneurs

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KUALA LUMPUR: It is the dream of many to emerge as successful entrepreneurs right at a young age. The world has seen how entrepreneurs like Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Apple’s late Steve Jobs succeeded at a young age and amassed big fortunes.

In Malaysia, the government through its agencies and non-governmental organisations, including the Malaysian Youth Council (MBM), provides mentorship to encourage youths to become entrepreneurs.

The MBM through its Entrepreneurs Development and Economic Committee (Edec) has introduced the nine core areas or 9 Teraju in not only encouraging youths to take up entrepreneurship but also in ensuring they succeed.

Goals of 9 Teraju

Often entrepreneurs fail in business as they lack knowledge and guidance in their undertakings.

Edec has been looking into ways to create as many apprentices as possible in entrepreneurship with the guidance of successful mentors, according to the president of 9 Teraju Edec, Nor Akmal Ibos.

With a search for apprentices to start in November, 9 Teraju comprising nine business clusters will serve as a platform for the youths to start their careers in business.

The cores are Muslim women’s fashion, beauty and spa, information and communications technology, perfumeries, food, health, events, communication and tourism, and marketing network and minerals.

“As for each cluster, there will be three participants making the total number of 27.

“Each participant will be trained and monitored closely for three years by established entrepreneurs who play the role of mentors until they become independent and own their businesses”, Nor Akmal told Bernama.

Comprehensive report

Nor Akmal said through 9 Teraju, training is one of the main aspects given priority to participants of the programme.

Training and guidance will be provided from time to time throughout the three-year duration. For a start, a three-day common introductory training will be provided for all trainees regardless of the clusters they choose.

Apart from that, the good cooperation between Edec and numerous government agencies and financial institutions facilitates the capital input for participants.

“For a start, a capital of RM10,000 is required for all businesses under 9 Teraju with the loan repayment extended to three years.

Edec develops system

To ensure that the business is carried out systematically, Edec has come up with a system to keep business records and the pledge made by the participants.

According to Nor Akmal, Edec has invested RM150,000 in developing an e-commerce system to enable businesses to be conducted online and at the same time monitor the apprentice’s business development real time.

“Everything can be monitored online through existing gadgets including smartphones, right from stock taking, sales record and incoming and outgoing payments in a standardised format”, he said.

Apart from doing business online, the choice of many today, training is also provided for participants keen on trading “offline”.

They can open stalls at a sales carnival to feel the real experience in meeting face to face with clients or customers. — Bernama

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 5, 2014.