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  • Monday, 12 Sep 2016

Mydin’s Ameer and MATRADE’s Raja Nor Zihan Raja Mohsin at the PJ workshop.

The SOBA Learning Series workshops this year has been well received with record number of participants signing up to pick up tips and knowledge, writes JOY LEE.

THE Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) 2016’s Learning Series workshops have received overwhelming response as close to 500 participants over four locations picked up tips and tricks on coping with the changing market environment from experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts.

The workshops, held in Penang, Ipoh, Muar and Petaling Jaya, all recorded higher numbers of participants from the previous year.

“It is a good platform. I’ve taken part in other similar talks but this is different,” said Ng Ee Pen, Batu Gajah branch chairman of the Perak Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who participated in the Ipoh workshop.

“As a businessman myself, I managed to pick up some tips and new knowledge on how to plan for business expansion. I hope The Star will hold more of these talks,” he added.

Nelson Kwok of Nelsons Franchise shared his entrepreneurial experiences.
Nelson Kwok of Nelson’s Franchise shared his entrepreneurial experiences.

The Learning Series were organised by The Star in conjunction with SOBA 2016.

The workshops were opened to the public and drew the participation of up-and-coming, non-listed companies and SMEs keen to learn about how to take their business to the next level.

The Learning Series aims to drive excellence and success among entrepreneurs, enrich the knowledge and sharpen the business acumen of the working force and offer participants the opportunity for business and social networking.

These workshops featured a mix of past SOBA winners and notable local business entrepreneurs, all of whom shared their success stories and lessons from their own experiences. The speakers included Plus Solar Systems co-founder and executive director Ko Chuan Zhen, Secretariat for the Advancement of Malaysian Entrepreneurs (SAME) chief executive officer Neil Foo, Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd managing director Datuk Wira Ameer Ali Mydin and Nelson’s Franchise founder and managing director Datuk Seri Nelson Kwok.

AmBanks Winnie Khong talked about SME financing at the PJ workshop.
AmBank’s Winnie Khong talked about SME financing at the PJ workshop.

The workshops also saw representatives from AmBank, Credit Guarantee Corp and MATRADE sharing strategies and tips that could be adopted by entrepreneurs to maximise financial solutions and exports to grow their businesses.

This year was also the first time the workshop in Muar, Johor was held in Mandarin to reach out to the Mandarin-speaking SMEs in the southern region.

SOBA 2016 is currently open for submission. It’s an award that acknowledges local enterprises for excelling in specific areas such as marketing, branding and corporate social responsibility (CSR), to name a few, regardless of industry.

Outstanding Achievement Awards are also given out to the Rising Star, Entrepreneur of the Year (Male/Female/Young) and Malaysian Business of the Year.

For the first time, SOBA will also have two broad categories — one for enterprises with a turnover of more than RM25mil and the other for those that have generated less than RM25mil per annum.

The award is open to all local enterprises that are not part of a multinational group or listed group, incorporated in Malaysia with foreign equity not exceeding 50%. The deadline for entries is Oct 14.

CGCs Wong Keet Loong shared strategies to maximise financial solutions.
CGC’s Wong Keet Loong shared strategies to maximise financial solutions.

SOBA 2016 is organised by The Star with AmBank as the main sponsor. Event co-sponsors include BMW Malaysia, Credit Guarantee Corp and Matrade, while the official venue sponsor is Connexion Conference and Event Centre. The award is endorsed by the Secretariat for the Advancement of Malaysian Entrepreneurs, supported by Bursa Malaysia and audited by BDO while 988 and Suria FM are the official radio stations.

For details, call The Star Events Business Unit at 03-7967 1388 ext 1240 (Melissa) or 1657 (Victor) or visit www.soba.com.my

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