Exploring potential of Internet business

1 (From left) Federal Territories Ministry deputy secretary-general (management and socio-economic) Datuk Nor’ Aini Abd Wahab, secretary-general Datuk Seri Adnan Ikhsan, Labuan Corporation chief executive officer Datuk Nadzri Osman, Yayasan Kesejahteraan Bandar chief executive officer Datuk Mustapa Ahmad Marican launching the Internet Entrepreneur Symposium 2015. 2 The symposium, in its first year, managed to attract twice the number of people than expected.

THE increasing adoption of technology in everyday life is one of the main reasons behind the Internet Entrepreneur Symposium 2015 organised by the Federal Territories Ministry last week.

As part of the efforts under the ministry’s Bumiputra Economic Empowerment Unit (UPEB), the symposium sought to assist bumiputra youths explore the potential of Internet-based businesses.

The one-day conference at Matrade, Kuala Lumpur pulled in more than 2,200 people, double the estimated target of 1,200 participants.

Ten industry experts in the field of Internet business provided in-depth insight into building and maintaining online businesses, whether using websites or social media during the symposium jointly organised with the Malaysia Internet Entrepreneur Association (MIEA).

MIEA president Mohd Azrul Mohd Nor believed that at least 40% of the participants were already entrepreneurs, adding that one of the goals of the event was to have at least 500 attendees start their own online businesses.

“Our hopes are to build on this one-day symposium with a programme called CyberBest that we hope to officially launch by March next year.

“We are planning to create the programme to provide at least six months of continuous guidance in which the participants will return maybe twice weekly so we can monitor or track their progress and point them in the right direction,” he said.

Federal Territories Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Adnan Md Ikhsan said based on a survey last year by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, there were an estimated 20.1 million Internet users in Malaysia.

“The average age of Internet users 31, and the ratio between male to female users increased from 1:3 in 2013 to 1:4; this means young women are more active Internet users in Malaysia.

“It also shows that mobile Internet usage rose from 20% in 2013 to 65% in 2014; this has to do with an increase of 74% use of smartphones as the main device for surfing the Internet,” he said.

Adnan believes the programme will also help aspiring entrepreneurs market their products globally while saving costs of launching businesses.

“Business conducted over the Internet is no longer the exclusive domain of big companies as recent trends show small companies are leveraging the Internet.

“It allows traders to conduct their business without being tied to a premises or come up with large capital expenditures to start businesses,” he said.

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