Assistant Minister of Entrepreneur and Small, Medium Enterprise (SME) Development, Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais launched the Gathering of Rising Entrepreneurs, Act Together (GREAT) 2018 entrepreneurship conference at the Borneo 744, Kuching

KUCHING: Sarawak needs to groom more young entrepreneurs as they would contribute to the state's economy and create jobs for the local community.

Assistant Minister of Entrepreneur and Small, Medium Enterprise (SME) Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais said the younger generation have a lot of business ideas with great potential in various products and services.

However, they need to be given some training, guidance or advise from the experts to enhance or to materialize their ideas.

Apart from that, he said, the youth need a platform and some grant to promote or expand their products and services.

Therefore, both federal and state governments were placing greater emphasis on entrepreneurship in the digital era.

“The number of SMEs is increasing every year as well as the new startups, spanning from handmade handicrafts to food and beverages as well as other services. So, we want to groom them and once they are successful, they can contribute significantly to the economy and create jobs," he said.

Last year, Naroden said, the state government allocated RM700 million in various grants to support the entrepreneurs and the amount has increased to RM900 million this year.

“The grants, the trainings and events are there, so we want the entrepreneur to come and grab it. Don't wait for it to go you but instead, always be on the lookout for the various assistance available," he added.

Naroden was speaking at the Gathering of Rising Entrepreneurs, Act Together (GREAT) 2018 entrepreneurship conference.

The two-day-event is aimed at unleashing the untapped entrepreneurial potential in Sarawak.

The event was an initiative of the Ministry of Finance which was supported by Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) and Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawaki (Tegas).

The Assistant Minister also launched the ACTYVATE, a nationwide movement aimed to inspire youth to create projects that can help transform the nation through creativity and innovation and instill positive values within the hearts of the younger generation.

Initiated by the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) and driven by iM4U and MaGIC, ACTYVATE is an online crowd-pledging platform for youths to propose high-impact, creative and innovative projects as well as garner support from the public and gather resources.

It will ensure that the voice of youths will be heard, included and implemented in nation building activities.

The projects proposed must clearly show how they can positively impact the community in the following areas: community development; environment; sustainability and green energy; youth development; disabilities; arts, media and culture; economic access and poverty alleviation; education; water and sanitation; animal welfare; as well as rural development.

All proposed projects must go through two key stages on ACTYVATE – ideation and crowd-funding – before they can come to fruition.

Once their applications are approved, project owners will need to pitch their ideas and secure at least 50 votes to get their projects validated, after which they will be able to kick off the crowd-funding process on the platform.

The federal government has allocated RM10 million for the initiative and will match the overall pledge to a maximum of RM50,000 for each project which demonstrates high community impact

> Source: New Straits Times