Archive for the ‘Entrepreneurship Education’ Category

Pay attention to technology, innovation, entrepreneurship for long-term growth

Monday, June 8th, 2020
The US economic transformation on the back of technology has made manufacturing and services the greater source of employment. -Pic for illustrations purposes onlyThe US economic transformation on the back of technology has made manufacturing and services the greater source of employment. -Pic for illustrations purposes only

WARREN Bennis, a management guru, once remarked that the factory of the future will have only two employees: a man and a dog! The job of the man is to feed the dog, and the job of the dog is to bite the man should he touch the console that remotely controls the factory. This scenario is true today in smart factories — minus the dog, of course!

The World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that nearly half of the jobs may be automated in the future. By 2030, 800-million jobs will be lost to machines. Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, puts it frankly: “There is no economic law that states that everyone will benefit from an industrial revolution. It is possible for a majority to be left behind.”

True, job disruptions have been rampant across all the industrial revolutions. James Watt, a Scottish inventor, triggered the first with his invention of the steam engine in 1776. It led to the Luddites — English factory workers — destroying machinery which they considered was destroying their jobs.

Subsequent revolutions also transformed commerce and industry, albeit with severe dislocation to employment. But the fear that they would cause a permanent decline in employment has not materialised.

For example, during the first industrial revolution, despite the Luddite vandalism, the average income in the UK rose by 40 per cent from 1823 to 1873, while its employment ratio spiked from 43 to 47 per cent.

The demystification of the apparent paradox that technology destroys jobs, yet creates many more, has three primary implications for our economy.

First, as Robert Solow, a Nobel-Prize winner in economics, postulated, technological progress catalyses economic expansion. Similarly, Joseph Schumpeter, an Austrian economist, viewed that the ‘creative destruction’ of companies is the basis of economic growth. Industrial mutations induce productivity growth which increases incomes. These then boost the demand for goods and services and new industries, and create new employment for the displaced workers.

The US economic transformation on the back of technology has made manufacturing and services the greater source of employment. In the 1850s, agriculture employed half the US workforce. Today, it employs only one per cent.

Second, entrepreneurship is vital for technological progress. Schumpeter considered innovation “a feat not of intellect but of will”. It requires an entrepreneur who is persistently seeking supe-rior returns in the marketplace. The remarkable achievements of Ren Zhengfei and of Steve Jobs are the embodiment of the entrepreneurship that Schumpeter envisaged. Ren, for example, grew Huawei from an importer of telecoms equipment in 1987 to the world’s largest telecoms-equipment manufacturer today.

It behoves therefore the government to accelerate entrepreneurship in the economy. Start-ups should be inspired through cheaper financing and institutional support.

Innovation requires research and development (R&D) in products and technology. Advanced countries have succeeded in innovation on the largesse of government support of R&D of around 4.0 per cent of GDP. We need to upgrade our innovation capacity by at least doubling our current spending to 2.0 per cent.

Third, to respond to the tectonic shifts in employment, we need to upskill our workforce so that it can move away from 3D (dirty, dangerous and dull) to 2D (digital-driven) jobs and to become relevant in the 5G era. The WEF identifies the soft skills of critical thinking, creativity, people skills and emotional intelligence as equally vital in the digital era.

We hope that long-term growth on the back of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as the cultivation of IT and soft skills will be adequately addressed by the government.

By Datuk Dr John Antony Xavier.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2020/06/598786/pay-attention-technology-innovation-entrepreneurship-long-term

Entrepreneur Development ministry is now known as Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020
Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof.

PETALING JAYA: As part of the Government’s efforts to strengthen the cooperatives movement, the Entrepreneur Development ministry has been renamed as the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry.

According to the ministry, the decision was made following a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday (Jan 22).

“In line with the Government’s initiative to strengthen the cooperative movement, the Cabinet meeting on Jan 22 agreed that the Entrepreneur Development ministry to be renamed as the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry,” it said.

The announcement was made by the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry in a statement on Wednesday (Jan 22).

Previously, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof said the name change was important following feedback from the cooperative movements, which had played an important role in the country’s economy.

Redzuan was also quoted as saying that the request for a rebranding was made by some 6.1 million members from 14,237 cooperatives across the country.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/01/22/entrepreneur-development-ministry-is-now-known-as-entrepreneur-development-and-cooperatives-ministry

Studying e-Commerce for accounting students

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

E-COMMERCE is the buying and selling of products or services over the Internet. Also known as electronic commerce, money and data are transferred over the Internet to facilitate the online transactions. Electronic funds transfer, online transaction processing, automated data collection, electronic data interchange, and mobile commerce are some of the tools used in e-commerce. With e-commerce, buyers and sellers are able to transact without the barriers of distance and time.

There has been an upward trend in the growth of e-commerce worldwide in the last 14 years. According to online providers of market and consumer data, buyers spend an average of 36% of their budget on online purchases and that the number of such buyers may reach 2.14 billion in 2021.

As more people turn to the Internet for their shopping needs, the future looks promising for e-commerce. These days, for instance, people aged 24 or younger are more comfortable with e-commerce. They find it less of a necessity to touch and try a product before purchasing. For this group of buyers, lifestyle branding and social media presence are more important considerations when deciding on their purchases. Influence from this young group of buyers is also spreading to the older generation who are becoming more open to online shopping. In Malaysia, examples of the more popular online marketplaces are Lazada, 11Street, Shopee and Lelong.

Impact on businesses

E-commerce generally requires only minimal infrastructure for the seller. On the other hand, companies using traditional business methods, spend significant amounts of money in setting up their physical infrastructure. Such brick and mortar businesses are increasingly finding themselves being outperformed by the more competitive e-commerce businesses.

The management of information systems and finance are some of the background processes in operating a business. While these activities are not as visible as the marketing functions, they are still nevertheless affected by the implications that e-commerce brings. For example, businesses need to consider various remittance and payment processes using fintech or financial technology in order to provide convenient payment methods, such as e-wallets and in-app purchases, for their online customers.

Accounting for e-commerce

A vital operational component of any business is the financials. For the e-commerce business, the accounting aspect can be a challenging task. Areas such as sales tax, inventory management, transaction volumes, sales returns and accounts receivables collection can be daunting when it comes to e-commerce transactions. Examples of the complexities include the imposition of a 6% service tax in Malaysia on digital service providers from 2020, integrating and automating the inventory management system, payment of various fees for online transactions that could considerably reduce profits, managing thousands of monthly transactions, and the handling and categorising of customer returns. These are just a few of the complexities of e-commerce which the accountant has to address in order to enable accurate financial decision making.

Additionally, the accounting profession needs to consider that e-commerce brings changes to organisational structures and business processes and strategies. For instance, information systems such as the Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERPs) which have simplified and automated accounting tasks, will mean that businesses will want to hire financial personnel who have working knowledge of such systems. Audit practices and procedures will also need to be adjusted to accommodate e-commerce transactions.

As can be seen above, a business would require qualified personnel with the skills and knowledge to manage the financial and accounting complexities that come with e-commerce. However, the lack of workforce with e-commerce expertise and knowledge has been cited as one of the major hindrances to rapid growth of e-commerce. The lack of qualified personnel prevents small e-commerce businesses from developing quickly as qualified personnel tend to work for larger corporations. Indeed, accounting professionals who are well versed in e-commerce are valuable as they can provide much needed financial perspectives when devising suitable strategies for the e-commerce business.

E-commerce courses can expose accounting students to how e-commerce relates to financial functions in the current business environment. Integrating e-commerce to accounting studies offers accounting students a more practical perspective of the environment that businesses operate in. In this way, learning institutions can meet the demands of employers sourcing for accounting graduates with knowledge and skills to handle e-commerce. The e-commerce component can be a core or elective subject or it can be integrated into the various finance and accounting subjects.

Universities are generally viewed as a source of potential recruits to fulfil the demands of businesses. One such university in Malaysia offering e-commerce-related subjects is Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman in Perak. As part of its accounting undergraduate degree programme, subjects offered relating to e-commerce include Information Technology for Management, Accounting Information Systems, Applied E-Commerce, and Introduction to Internet of Things.

by CHIN YOON MEI, FOO PIK YIN and LOH CHUN TING.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2020/01/12/studying-e-commerce-for-accounting-students

Right policy mix can help people make ends meet

Friday, December 20th, 2019
Those with lower incomes spend a higher share of their family budget on food, and so, will experience a higher inflation when food prices rise. FILE PIC

ONE of the most striking things for economists who study Malaysia is the disconnect between what on the surface is by all means an impressive economic story, with high rates of growth, rapid poverty reduction, low and stable inflation and a country on the cusp of achieving high-income status.

This narrative exists alongside persistent and growing concerns about the quality of growth and its inclusiveness.

Nowhere is this debate more apparent than when the low rate of consumer price inflation, currently running at just 1.1 per cent in October, is contrasted against the fact that so many Malaysians are worried about — the cost of living.

The latest edition of the World Bank Malaysia Economic Monitor, launched last week, investigates this matter.

Closer analysis shows that despite low and stable inflation in recent years, different households live with different rates of inflation. For example, those with lower incomes spend a higher share of their family budget on food, and so, will experience a higher rate of inflation when food prices rise faster than prices of other items.

Second, the consumer price index (CPI) doesn’t include costs that have a high investment component, such as the cost of buying a home. Property prices have risen rapidly in the last few years, which isn’t captured in the CPI.

Third, living costs vary quite dramatically across the country. It is not unusual for an item to cost almost twice as much in one state as in another.

And, while wages in urban areas are generally higher compared to rural areas, these differences are frequently not enough to fully offset the higher costs that urban residents face. People are also subject to various memory biases.

For example, price rises catch our attention more than stable or declining prices. And we notice price changes for frequent out-of-pocket purchases more than the goods and services that we buy less often.

In fact, the “cost of living” is most likely a catch-all term that reflects a host of issues that affect the budgets and wellbeing of families across Malaysia. Beyond prices, we find that a key driver of this concern is the relatively slow wage growth, particularly for the young and those who lack the necessary education and skills to thrive in today’s changing economy.

Heavy household debt burdens and the need to put aside a significant share of income for vehicle loans, student loans or mortgage payments further squeeze income. And there is a shortage of housing that is affordable to low- and middle-income households. With these factors combined, it’s no surprise that a large share of Malaysians feel that they are falling behind.

It is important to look beyond the symptoms to treat to underlying problems of the country’s cost-of-living challenge. In the report, we identify a mix of short-term measures that could alleviate hardship among low- and middle-income households, as well as important structural reforms that will take more time, but will address the root causes that make it hard for many Malaysians to make ends meet.

Towards this end, continued reevaluation of price controls is essential to identify and resolve the underlying causes of undue price increases for selected commodities. For commodities with sharp price increases, a focus on market competition and curbing monopoly power is appropriate. In addition, price controls should be aligned with the consumption patterns of low-income households.

Easing the income shortfalls among low- and middle-income households could entail deepening existing social safety nets. Replacing fuel subsidies with a transportation allowance that is income-targeted but does not require ownership of a motor vehicle would help.

Sustainable household income growth needs to be grounded in accelerating labour productivity, and in realigning investment and hiring incentives — a reform area that should be addressed in the long term.

An important first step to improving financial wellbeing is to raise awareness regarding prudent personal and household financial management, and provide advice to lower-income households and young adults on how to make sound financial decisions.

In the longer term, such efforts would need to be complemented by measures to strengthen consumer protection and encourage more responsible behaviour by financial institutions. Policies to address the shortage of affordable housing could be improved through a sharper focus on principal residences for low- and middle-income households, better affordability measurement and evidence-based housing supply data and analytics.

With that in place, housing policies, shaped over a longer period could prioritise increasing the supply of affordable housing for low- and middle-income households through new construction and rehabilitation of existing units. Stronger coordination among public and private stakeholders is also needed to ensure an adequate supply of affordable housing.

None of this will be easy, but with the right combination of policies, it is possible to address the deep causes that make so many Malaysians concerned about the cost of living.

The writer is the lead economist for the World Bank in Malaysia

By Richard Record.

REad more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2019/12/549330/right-policy-mix-can-help-people-make-ends-meet

Sabah Skill Training Entrepreneur Program attracts 100 single mothers

Monday, December 16th, 2019

TUARAN: Around 100 single mothers in the district attended the ‘Sabah Skill Training Entrepreneur Program’ by United Sabah Islamic Association (USIA) yesterday at An-Nur Mosque here.

The programme is intended to provide single mothers with exposure and useful information on the entrepreneur field to improve their family income.

The one-day briefing was conducted by Nuvis Sabah Training & Consultancy Sdn Bhd (NSTC) which is also a certified training center under the Ministry of Human Resources.

According to managing director Ani Mohd Ridzuan, the briefings not only touched on career skills in the field of entrepreneurship but also exposed participants to courses that were specifically created to fulfill the needs and demands of the latest industry skills in Malaysia. The certificates were at Level 2 & 3 skills certification for courses such as Hairdressing, Barber, Surgeons, Makeup, Reflexology, Spa Therapy, Photography and Reiki Therapy.

She said since its operations 23 years ago, NSTC has produced more than 2,000 internships across Malaysia and outside of the country.

“There are also some of our former students who are now running their small businesses, through phone applications and through our franchise programmes.

“We are focusing on this area of expertise in view of the demand from a relentless employer to supply with such skilled employees in the field. In fact, this field is also one of youths’ ‘favorite’ especially in improving their profile careers as this is an encouraging request from the employer and it promises them high career prospects as well as industry potential,” said Ani, adding that seven of their former students are now working in Melbourne and Perth. Also present was Tuaran Community Development Leader Rahman Jali.

In his speech, he also called for such programmes to be sustainable in the future as well as extended to youths and the hardcore poor.

By NOOR EVIANA DATU MAZINAL

Read more @ http://www.newsabahtimes.com.my/nstweb/fullstory/35476

Lessons from a student entrepreneur

Thursday, June 14th, 2018
(File pix) Pitching at the Makerthon Challenge held in conjunction with the Global Entrepreneurship Community Summit.

MANY people have a view of university education as one that will help them gain the relevant paper qualification to get access to the world of employment, preferably launching into professional careers.

While the paper chase instills knowledge seeking skills and proves one’s ability to attain a certain level of intellectual capacity, the university experience provides much more beyond academics and may open doors that lead to the business world, turning job seekers into job creators.

Javendra Kumar, 24, is proof that immersing oneself in the total university experience and taking advantage of the opportunities and facilities on campus have helped him to become a successful student entrepreneur.

Due to graduate this October with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering (Honours) from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), the lad from Ipoh, Perak founded Javen Global Enterprise — a T-shirt printing services company — in his second year of studies.

From a modest one-man operation, Javendra now has a shop at the university student centre with a team which services not only the community at UKM but also tertiary institutions across Peninsular Malaysia. He has attained many achievements and has been named as UKM’s entrepreneur icon by the university’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and SMEs Development.

Recently, he was part of a group of 30 students from public higher learning institutions in Malaysia who attended the Youth E-Commerce Programme (YEP), a collaboration between the then Higher Education Ministry and Alibaba Business School to produce young ecommerce entrepreneurs. China-based Alibaba is the largest e-commerce organisation in the world with 549 million users.

The stint exposed students to the ecosystem of e-commerce business.

BACKGROUND

Javendra said his journey has been a series of incidents which has led to his “true calling”.

Coming from an average income family, Javendra’s parents — particularly his mother — harboured ambitions for him to become a doctor.

“After scoring straight As in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations, I was offered a place at Kolej Matrikulasi Pahang to pursue a pure science course. I thought that would be the best choice in order to pursue a degree in medicine at one of the public universities.

“But after matriculation, I was offered to study biology at UKM. I accepted the place in UKM but changed the course to civil engineering to please my mother as she wanted me to pursue a professional course. I wanted to read law and though my father was agreeable, I didn’t want to burden him further as my brother and sister were studying at private institutions,” he added.

With an affinity for science but not so much for mathematics, Javendra struggled hard to be up to mark in his studies.

“I love to memorise things and I hated maths. I am not that IT savvy either. But engineering classes were filled with maths — mainly calculus, statistics, algebra, autocad.

I studied really hard and managed to get an IJM scholarship that is offered annually. In my batch, only two students were awarded the scholarship. It reduced my financial burden and made my parents happy.”

During his semester break, Javendra worked with IJM at various project sites including the Mass Rapid Transit project.

“It was during this time that my dad died and I had to be independent financially. My mum is a housewife and I can’t be dependent on my siblings. So, once my semester started, I decided to look for opportunities to generate extra income,” he said.

(File pix) Javendra Kumar at the closing of the YEP programme with Alibaba Group vice-president Brian A Wong and recently retired Higher Education Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur.

BABY STEPS

Javendra started looking for part-time jobs on or nearby campus and he toyed with the idea of a carwash business but that did not pan out as he did not have any money to invest.

“It was at this same time I was appointed head of UKM Rukun Negara Secretariat. We organised a few events and programmes, and needed T-shirts. I surveyed the prices of existing suppliers in UKM and found them a bit pricey. Then I compared the prices of other suppliers outside campus and realised that the business has potential,” he said.

“I knew that if I can supply good quality T-shirts to all the clubs and societies at UKM at a cost-effective price, it would be a great venture.” He formed a partnership with several factory operators in Kajang and then took the bold step of registering a company at the Companies Commission of Malaysia.

“I had no idea what to call it so I named it Javen Global Enterprise and listed printing, food and beverage, IT as the company’s services. Then I started marketing on social media as the go-to guy for printing at UKM.”

He saved up the revenue from his printing jobs to set up a physical shop on campus as clients would have more confidence in a brick-and-mortar venture.

“It took me nearly a semester to get a shoplot at the student centre. I worked with a team of seven students to launch my first shop with the attendance of a few VIPs. I gave the team training, set sales targets and business picked up.

“We started getting media coverage and publicity. I had to make this big and provide as many part-time jobs for students as possible.

We have the resources, knowledge and we are young,” added Javendra.

From there, he applied to become a vendor for UKM. “I submitted the documents and after some time, I received an email stating the application was successful. I just can’t describe how I felt at that moment, having brought together a team of friends and giving them hope, and telling them not to depend on PTPTN or our parents for money. Time is not the barrier.

“And let’s start now, instead of wasting time — we can have fun and make some money at the same time.”

Today, Javen Global Enterprise hires freelance designers and bids for big projects at UKM. At other universities, it supplies T-shirts to societies and clubs through fellow students based on commission. It also supplies T-shirts to corporations.

“Our target is for everyone to make RM3,000 monthly.”

SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT

Javendra credits UKM for the support and encouragement in his journey to becoming an entrepreneur.

“It gave me the drive to take the business to a higher level. Nobody scoffed at my dream but showed me the way instead and opened doors through the various courses and programmes available.

“I was given the chance to give talks to fellow students attending the university’s entrepreneur courses and at Entrepreneur Day events. UKM is where I realised my calling as an entrepreneur,” said Javendra.

The professors at UKM recommended that he applied for the Youth E-Commerce Programme (YEP) organised by the then Higher Education Ministry and Alibaba Business School earlier this year. Taking place at Alibaba’s global headquarters in Hangzhou, China, Javendra along with 29 other students attended lectures and held discussions with business unit leaders at Alibaba.

They also visited sites, such as Hema supermarkets, to see innovative strategies such as New Retail — the marriage of online and offline retail systems — in action.

The students visited the T-Mall shop and the operations office of Taobao, one of the online platforms under the Alibaba Group.

While the participants were in China, they were also exposed to customer management modules, e-commerce organisation development, online business operations and business communications.

“My training at Alibaba helped me to dream big and see the potential of doing business all over the world, not just in Malaysia.”

At Hangzhou, throughout the programme the students were placed in groups of six to work together and pitch a project to a panel of judges.

“My group won the overall winner prize based on an e-commerce solution targeted at students. As follow-up, Alibaba asked us to come up with an action plan based on the pitch to take e-commerce and trading to a global audience.”

When Javendra returned to Malaysia after the Alibaba stint, he was appointed the president of the National Youth Ecommerce Committee for the Chamber of Digital Entrepreneurs Development 2018/2019.

THE FUTURE

Javen Global Enterprise is in its third year of business and is reaching a six-figure income.

And on a personal note, Javendra is proud that he is able to give his mother a home of her own — something the family did not have previously.

“In the next five years, I will let my team manage the business. I will monitor the progress.

Meanwhile, I want to work in a company and follow a successful entrepreneur — a mentor — to learn and get more experience in the corporate world.

By ROZANA SANI -.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/education/2018/06/379513/lessons-student-entrepreneur

Over 200 Activities Lined-up For Student Entrepreneurship Month 2017

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

News Pic

SHAH ALAM, Sept 29 (Bernama) — Over 200 entrepreneurship development activities will be held at all institutions of higher learning (IPT) nationwide throughout the ‘Student Entrepreneurship Month 2017′ programme next month.

Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Mary Yap Kain Ching said the programme themed ‘Ignite Your Entrepreneurship Passion’ was aimed at nurturing entrepreneurial mindset in the entire higher education ecosystem in Malaysia.

“The Student Entrepreneurship Month is among the medium developed to provide exposure and encouragement to the students and IPT staff to venture into entrepreneurship.

“The month of October was chosen as most public and private universities would be completing the new intake for 2017/2018 academic session,”she said at the launch of the programme at the Management and Science University (MSU) here today.

Also present were MSU President Prof Tan Sri Dr Mohd Shukri Ab Yajid and Ministry of Higher Education’s (MOHE) Head of Entrepreneurship Unit Datin Dr Syahira Hamidon.

Mary Yap said through the programme, the MOHE also aimed at changing the mindset of graduates from being job seekers to being job creators, while encouraging them to venture into entrepreneurship upon graduation.

BERNAMA.

Read more @ http://education.bernama.com/index.php?sid=news_content&id=1395830