Monday, July 22

245 youths trained as entrepreneurs

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Awang Tengah (fifth right) and others as well as successful Tube participants.

LUNDU: A total of 245 Bumiputera youths from Sarawak have been trained under the entrepreneurship-linked TUBE (Tunas Usahawan Bumiputera) programme since 2014.

The programme too has created 428 job opportunities, generating RM4.93 million in total sales.

Among the successful TUBE participants from Sarawak are Shahrulnizam Samawi of Syarikat DCM, Schlastica Ana Ahet (EHS Bakery), Syahnaz Bawani Abang (Abe Lee Co), Norzanah Hamdi (NH Majujaya Enterprise) and Ahmad Shazani Mohamad Ghazali (Famous Gym Enterprise).

When closing the state-level TUBE 5.0 2018 programme at Putra Sentosa National Service Training Camp in Munggu Belian, Sematan yesterday, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said he was proud to note that more and more youths from urban and rural areas were now involved in entrepreneurship following the implementation of TUBE.

A total of 135 TUBE participants are getting trained at Putra Sentosa National Service Training Camp.

At the function, deputy CEO of SME Corp Malaysia Mohd Rithaudden Makip, presented a RM2,025,000 grant to be shared equally by the 135 trainees for them to start their respective businesses later on.

Awang Tengah, who received the mock cheque on behalf of the trainees, said the government would continue to support any entrepreneurship development programme involving youths in terms of capacity-building, infrastructure set-up, product development and marketing.

Awang Tengah (fourth right) receives a mock cheque from Mohd Rithaudeen.

“To intensify business chain and networking, 11 TUBE-linked associations have be set up in the state. They include Persatuan Tunas Usahawan Bumiputera Kenyalang  (Kita). And, to coordinate all activities and programmes organised by the state TUBE, a national-level association called Persatuan Tunas Usahawan Nasional (Pertunas) has also been set up.

“Youths of today have to be active because their needs  and aspirations have to be taken into account in future nation-building policies. They need to be dynamic and competitive at domestic, regional and international levels to face future challenges.

“I want to see TUBE participants from Sarawak in particular, fulfill their ambitions to succeed as global entrepreneurs,” said Awang Tengah.

He also urged entrepreneurs – budding or existing ones – to take up the opportunities afforded by available programmes and schemes provided by the government.

He was hopeful that the Ministry of International Trade and Industries (MITI) and SME Corp Malaysia would continue to lend financial support to state entrepreneurs so they could contribute in reducing cost and remain competitive, and meet the expectations of consumers.

“My ministry also offers various programmes and assistance to help budding entrepreneurs and these include Arah Keusahawanan (Gerak) and Usahawan Teknikal dan Vokasional (USTEV) programmes,” said Awang Tengah, who is also Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development.

University graduates and youths intending to venture into business should register first at incubator centre [email protected] to ensure they are equipped with the necessary knowledge and facilities for business, he said.

“The government will provide various assistance through agencies under my ministry such as AIM, Tekun, Mara, Teraju, SME Corp, SEDC, MIDF, SME Bank and SPIKS,” he said, adding that his ministry too had set up Sarawak Product Pavilion (SPP) in Kuala Lumpur.

The SPP functions as the ‘gateway’ for local products to be exported to Peninsular Malaysia and other countries.

An allocation of RM20 million was already approved under the 11th Malaysian Plan for the setting up of an industrial park in Lundu, he said to stress his point on how serious the government was to improve small and medium enterprise and entrepreneur development.

The project – costing RM30.2 million involving 50 acres of land – is still at the land acquisition stage.

He added that MITI via SME Corp Malaysia would be holding a Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Convention on March 30 at Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur.

This inaugural convention, expected to attract 14,000 entrepreneurs from all over the country, will be opened by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Assistant Minister of Entrepreneur and Small, Medium Enterprise and Assistant Minister of E-Commerce Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais, Tanjung Datu assemblywoman Datin Patinggi Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu, Opar assemblyman Dato Ranum Mina and SME Corp Sarawak director Ismail Hashim were also present at the function yesterday.