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By Lian Cheng
SIBU, March 6: The setting up of an Entrepreneur Incubation Hub will allow innovative entrepreneurs to create new business models to provide better job opportunities for graduates who are eyeing greener pastures elsewhere.
In stating this, Renco Yong, president of the Youth Entrepreneur Committee of Sibu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said it was very hard to ask young graduates, especially those from overseas, to stay and establish their businesses here.
“Many of our children, friends and relatives would rather work in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur for better salaries and opportunities.
“We see the urgent need for a platform and network for young startup businesses to be encouraged and established in Sibu,” he said at the grand opening ceremony of the Entrepreneurs’ Incubation Hub, located at Sibu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, here today.
He expressed his appreciation to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg for supporting its establishment.
“This year, we aim to conduct various training, seminars, workshops, forums and business networking events to build up and strengthen new startup businesses in Sarawak.
“To catch up with the rapid development of online platforms for marketing, sales, purchase and delivery, we will also focus on e-commerce forums and training to build up talents and promote them at the international level. This includes copywriters, YouTubers, photographers and videographers, website developers, programmers and graphic designers,” he said.
Yong said last year, the committee published its first edition of Young Entrepreneurs’ Magazine, which will be a free quarterly magazine containing success stories, business ideas and business models for emerging startup entrepreneurs in Sarawak.
“The first edition introduced more than 30 young and successful entrepreneurs in Sarawak. We target to have 10,000 copies printed per issue and to distribute them to hotels, airports, bookstores, high schools and colleges,” he said.
On the Entrepreneur Incubation Hub, Yong said it would charge RM150 in annual fees for those aged below 45 and RM300 for those aged above 45 or non-Chamber members.
There are permanent desks and hot desks for a company to set up a mobile office at the hub.
Free high-speed Unifi, meeting rooms, laser printer, fax machine, photocopier, charging outlets in every corner, pantry, discussion area, corporate corner and other facilities are provided.
The Young Entrepreneur Committee had organised a Young Entrepreneur competition in 2018 which attracted about 100 participants from Kuching, Bintulu, Miri and Sibu to attend two seminars and participate in three competitions.
“We chose only 10 winning companies for their innovative, creative and outstanding startup business models as winners. We invited more than 300 participants to the semi-final and final presentations, and these participants voted together with the judges for the 10 winners.
“It was a very meaningful competition, which not only benefitted Sibu but the whole of Sarawak,” he reckoned.
Yong sought continual support from Abang Johari, who has already contributed RM1 million to build the infrastructure and facilities of the hub.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari urged entrepreneurs here to come up with innovative ideas, especially in creating online businesses that could be promoted and sold through mobile applications.
He said online businesses and computer games had a huge market in China, and these are the areas in which he believed the entrepreneurs in Sibu are capable of producing. — DayakDaily