Business Challenge to spur startups in rural areas
by Peter Boon, firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on July 28, 2012, Saturday
SIBU: The Rural Business Challenge will encourage more new business startups in the rural areas, enabling rural products or local produce to be marketed on a big scale.
Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development Datuk Joseph Entulu said yesterday the initiative would help boost rural folk’s economy, enticing especially youths to make business their career.
According to news reports, the challenge introduced by KKLW aims at motivating Malaysian youth to develop businesses in rural areas where winners would be provided with financial assistance of between RM500,000 and RM2 million to implement their business plans.
“The intention is to inculcate an entrepreneurial spirit among the rural folk, especially the youths. In that way, people become more self-sufficient where their products such as handicrafts, local delicacies or even local produce are marketed at commercial level to enjoy lucrative returns.
“In other words, goods produced are not meant only for their own consumption, but to generate income,” Entulu, who is Selangau MP, said of the objectives of the programme.
The ministry’s secretary-general, Datuk Ibrahim Muhamad, had earlier said the competition was part of the strategy to develop a comprehensive policy that would encourage young people to return to villages, find gainful employment and realistic businesses opportunities.
Entulu, who is PRS deputy president, described the move as a step forward in producing more rural-based entrepreneurs who would help to generate more job opportunities for the people through their business activities.
He also anticipated that folk there would be motivated to start their own business after seeing their neighbours enjoying a higher income.
“Seeing such fruition, people would be enticed to venture into business to elevate their level of income and better provide for their families.”
Among others, he was of the view that the initiative would go a long way to reverse the rural-urban migration trend.
In an earlier interview, Association of Longhouse Chiefs Sibu advisor Penghulu James Semilan strongly felt the move would do wonders for rural areas as the intellectuals or graduates would stay put and help develop their areas.
“With business opportunities comes job openings and hence, youth would not be swayed to seek employment elsewhere. The best part is that it would boost the folk’s socio-economy,” James said then.