Upskilling youth entrepreneurs

The first cohort of CGC100 graduates with (back row, from seventh left) Mohd Zamree, Mohammed, Norzalina and Fakhriyyah.

THIRTY participants from underserved communities have graduated from Credit Guarantee Corporation (M) Bhd’s (CGC) CGC100 Youth Entrepreneurship Programme - Comprehensive Track.

This marks the first batch of graduates representing diverse backgrounds and entrepreneurial paths in a programme that is a collaboration between the Education Ministry and Pintar Foundation.

Aimed at empowering youth with entrepreneurship and soft skills, the programme focuses on upskilling, reskilling and cross-skilling through an intensive 12-month course.

This programme also encompasses sharing sessions by top industry experts.

CGC chairman Datuk Mohammed Hussein, when launching the graduation ceremony, said: “CGC is committed to creating an ecosystem for micro, small and medium enterprises to thrive and prosper, because our ultimate goal is to see them develop into successful entrepreneurs.”

He said the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent recovery period provided indelible lessons about the realities of business.

“Economic downturns are inevitable. It can affect everyone at the same time, including our –interdependency – the supply chain,” he added.

“Business environment and operating conditions will change, and business skills and leadership are critical to cope with that – to recover, rebuild and reinvent the business, and respond to the challenges caused by changes in the business environment.”

CGC president and chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Zamree Mohd Ishak, in his speech, said: “CGC100 aims to inculcate entrepreneurial values among youth, advocating entrepreneurship as a career option.

“It is designed to equip participants with the tools and knowledge needed to thrive in the ever-evolving entrepreneurial landscape.”

Darlene Cheng Key Li, 21, who runs a food and beverage business in Kuala Lumpur, credited the programme for enriching her business skill set.

“The programme offered insightful classes on financial management, marketing, digital reliance and business pitching.

“Meeting different people from different backgrounds improved my business connections too,” she said.

Nurul Ain Aqilah Hamzha, 22, from Johor, said she learned how to write a business plan as well as about marketing and branding.

“After each module, I applied what I learned to my business. My sales increased by 68% in two months!”

As for Nickrayco Kundi @Jusly, 21, from Sabah, the programme provided business understanding that he could apply to his vehicle service workshop.

“Interpersonal skills, personal branding and ESG (environmental, social and governance) principles are some aspects that can help improve business operations and growth,” he said.

The event concluded with the launch of the second cohort of CGC100 – the Fast Track programme – a six-month intensive course dedicated to instilling skills and knowledge for candidates with bare minimum knowledge on entrepreneurship.

Twenty participants were inducted into the programme, which commenced with a session on “Core Values and Work Ethics” by Mohammed.

Also present at the ceremony were the ministry’s vocational technical education and training division chief assistant director Fakhriyyah El-Emin Muhardi and Pintar Foundation general manager Norzalina Masom.

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