Sarawak to empower women entrepreneurship through digital technology

Abang Johari delivering his speech.

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, March 7: Women entrepreneurs have been encouraged to leverage on technology to move forward in the digital economy.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state government, through the Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry, will continue to empower women entrepreneurs to become digital entrepreneurs.

“Apart from welfare assistance, the state government is also empowering women with new skills and approaches to earn better income. This will enable them to contribute to the economy, which is not just confined to the Sarawak market but beyond.

“As the state’s economy is transforming towards digital economy, which focuses on technology, I believe Sarawakians especially women should leverage on the use of technology to generate more income for themselves,” he said when launching “Women X: Global Innovative Entrepreneurship Symposium” at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching today.

The event attended by some 5,000 people was held in conjunction with the International Women’s Day celebration.

Abang Johari cited a recent conversation with an online entrepreneur when visiting Serikin, a border town between Sarawak and Kalimantan, Indonesia, in Bau.

He said the woman earned RM200,000 last year through her online business, which have expanded to overseas market including the United States.

He believed there are big potential for women to venture into online business and become digital entrepreneurs.

Abang Johari said the Sarawak women’s ministry have been training women to become entrepreneurs and encouraged participation in online business. The ministry was also working with Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (Tegas) to train more women entrepreneurs in digital economy.

The state government was also collaborating with the Centre of Technical Excellence (Centexs) to provide training to Sarawakians to become entrepreneurs.

“Centexs will use the latest technology which include artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in their training to guide entrepreneurs,” he added.

As for financing, he said that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can apply for micro credit financing from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development and the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC).

The chief minister said the state was also looking to set up an entrepreneurs’ incubator and training centre at Kota Samarahan, especially for women entrepreneurs to innovate their products and services. — DayakDaily