Sunday, September 20

Venture capital to help youth develop ‘expertise and skills’

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Abdul Karim (third left) launches the TEDx Kenyalang ‘Shine for Others’ as (from left) Nizam, Nancy, Zaiwin, Dayang Norjihan and Sham look on.

KUCHING: Youth who are already successful but low in cash flow now have the option to go for venture capital (VC) which was set up by the Sarawak government to help youth develop their expertise and skills.

Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said successful youth entrepreneurs who had reached a higher level are eligible for more financial assistance.

“VC is actually the fund to assist those with talents to further improve on their skills. It is not a scholarship but is an outright gift.

“If you apply and it is approved by the committee, you will get it but this is not for those youth who are beginners or just about to start from somewhere,” said Abdul Karim.

He told this to reporters after officiating at TEDx Kenyalang ‘Shine for Others’ at a hotel here yesterday which was attended by about 200 local youth.

TEDx Kenyalang is brought by Koperasi Belia Inovatif Sarawak (KOBIS) with support from Ministry of Youth and Sports and many more partners, in conjunction with World TEDx Youth Weekend celebration, which occurs on every third week of November.

VC started last year with the sum of RM5 million, and for next year the state government has allocated RM4 million more.

“It’s a revolving fund to assist youth who have expertise, skills. For example if the youth is an expert in games or gadgets, they can apply for it but this is just for local market,” he said.

Abdul Karim, who is also the Minister of Culture, Arts and Tourism, said that VC is state owned, and applications can be made through the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

When asked if TEDx Kenyalang would be extended to the rural areas, he said the ministry had some specific programmes for the rural areas like ‘Jelajah Belia’, ‘Keluargaku Sayang’ to engage with the youths.

“We even have townhall sessions where we do engagement with the rural youths for them to gain knowledge and awareness of what the government is doing,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said over the years, the state Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports had fully supported TEDx Kenyalang because it is a good avenue for youths to gather with their peers.

“I believe the phenomenal sharing of knowledge and experiences among TEDx participants will give better insight on how we, as individuals, can interact and communicate with one another despite the unique differences that we possess,” he said.

A total of 12 speakers are giving talks to the youths. Among them are Uzz Taufek (Digital Jedi), Dona Drury Wee (animal right activist), Purvi Tantia (author/educator) and Jarod Yong (The Jungle teacher).

Among those attending the launching were Ministry of Youth and Sports acting permanent secretary Nancy Jolhi, Tedx Kenyalang team advisors Dayang Norjihan Abang Zohari and Kameri Affandi, curator Zaiwin Kassim, programme director Nizam Khalyd and event manager Sham Bujang.