Making Markets Work for Young Entrepreneurs: An Approach to Bring Government, Private Sectors and Local Businesses to Strengthen Entrepreneurship in Malaysia

On the 18th March 2016, the Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) organised a roundtable discussion with the theme, “Making Markets Work for Young Entrepreneurs: An Approach to Bring Government, Private Sectors and Local Businesses to Strengthen Entrepreneurship in Malaysia”. The event was held at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Resort and was attended by 35 young participants from various sectors.

ASLI-CPPS Chairman, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam gave the introductory remarks. He lamented that tens of thousands of Malaysian youth graduates are unemployed, as well as the poor level of higher education standards in the country. The lack of skills among today’s youths significantly impedes their chances of success. Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam encouraged participants to emulate successful entrepreneurs like Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah, who have contributed to societal welfare through their business enterprise. He urged participants to develop the characteristics of an entrepreneur, such as being hard-working, frugal as well as having a high sense of accountability.

Panel speakers for the event included Dato’ Chevy Beh, Founder and CEO of BookDoc; Mr. Henry Goh, Co-Founder and Group COO of Macrokiosk; Ms. Fiqa Liyana Chong, Founder of FIQS; and Mr. Zaim Mohzani, Founder and Principal of Nation Building School.

During discussions, the panel highlighted that entrepreneurship can be used as a platform to overcome chronic issues of youth unemployment. However, this requires them to have creativity and innovation to overcome obstacles, as well as a need for a conducive environment is needed to encourage the spirit of entrepreneurism. Mentorship is a crucial factor for new start-ups which can be connected through extensive engagements with other grassroot entrepreneurs. Young people also need to develop confidence and leadership. Young entrepreneurs also faced difficult in securing funding but fortunately government initiatives like MaGIC have been implemented to address such limitations.

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