More Malaysian youths venturing into business amid challenging market

COVID-19 led to many businesses shuttering but the challenging market is not a deterrent for young entrepreneurs to chase their dreams.

Many young people in the country are increasingly more than willing to venture out on their own.

Yearly, more and more youths are turning to businesses as a means of having a second stream of income, said Tejvinder Singh, who is a managing consultant of a human resource service company.

“Bosses these days are flexible and allow their staff to have a business on the side as long as it’s not a conflict of interest and it does not affect the employees’ performance.

“It’s good to see that this generation is willing to take risks and explore their entrepreneurial side,” he told StarEdu.

This trend was also highlighted in a Standard Chartered survey conducted in 2020, which found that 79% of 25- to 34-year-olds were interested to start a new business or set up a second income stream in the wake of the pandemic.

The survey involved 12,000 adults in Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, the United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

While it is undeniable that surviving the pandemic has been a struggle, the local business sector has proven its resilience – even showing growth.

To spur the development of entrepreneurship among youths and women, various programmes were organised with an allocation of RM213.7mil this year, the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry (Medac) told Parliament in March.

And between 2016 and 2021, there was an increase of more than 140,000 firms in the sector, SME Corporation Malaysia, a body under Medac, revealed.

As of last year, there were a total of 1.2 million micro, small and medium enterprises accounting for 97.4% of overall establishments in Malaysia.

While the government and many higher education institutions have a myriad of initiatives lined up to develop and support youth entrepreneurship, it is the perseverance, confidence and solid skillsets of our young talents that have seen them thrive even in times of adversity. — By SANDHYA MENON

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