YEC2014 affirms spirit of Mísian entrepreneurship
KUALA LUMPUR: The Alliance Bank’s Young Entrepreneurs’ Conference 2014 (YEC2014), a Ted Talk-styled conference that focusses primarily on the issues faced by young Malaysian SMEs, was well attended by over 1,600 young Malaysian entrepreneurs when it was held in Kuala Lumpur and Penang recently.
“With close to 650,000 SME establishments nationwide, SMEs contribute 32% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Yet, more than fifty percent of small businesses fail in the first five years of operations due to a variety of reasons,” said Steve Miller, Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Group Business Banking at Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad. “The YEC2014 was borne out of the need to assist in the development of young Malaysian SMEs through a platform that is relevant, engaging and nurturing.”
“The YEC2014 half-day programme was carefully curated to provide the best opportunities for young Malaysian entrepreneurs to network, learn from each other and be inspired by other successful entrepreneurs.”
As an indication of its popularity, the #bizsmartacademy hashtag was one of the Top 10 trending topics on Twitter on Saturday during the KL Conference due to the active online chatter by the YEC2014 delegates.
Supported by partners such as EcoWorld Development, Microsoft Malaysia, Groupon Malaysia, Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) and its IPTV service – HyppTV, Cradle Fund Sdn. Bhd (Cradle) and Gallup Inc, the YEC2014 featured well-known speakers such as Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Liew Kee Sin of EcoWorld and Paul Allen, co-founder of Ancestry.com and Gallup Strength Evangelist in both Kuala Lumpur and Penang venues. At the Kuala Lumpur YEC2014 held at the KL Convention Centre, speakers included Timothy Tiah, Founder of Nuffnang.com; Cheryl Yeoh, CEO of Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre, Founder of CityPockets.com and Reclip.It; and Adelene Foo, General Manager of MyTeksi.com.
Meanwhile, at the PenangPAC in Straits Quay, the YEC2014 featured well-known young Penangite entrepreneurs the likes of Leong Shir Mein, Founder of Delivereat.my; Venus Khor, Director of Rising One Media and Penang Camera Museum; and Koh Yung Shen, Founder of LANSI – theswaggersalon.com.
Christy Ng, Founder of ChristyNg.com and winner of the SME Innovation Challenge 2013, and Bryan Ong, Co-Founder of TextbookAsia.com and first runner-up of the SME Innovation Challenge 2013, too shared with delegates at both YEC2014 the issues and challenges they face in their respective businesses. The YEC2014 was held in conjunction with the launch of the SME Innovation Challenge 2014, which invites young Malaysian SMEs who have been in business between one and three years to submit their business propositions for consideration. From these submissions, 20 high-potential young SMEs will be selected to undergo structured business coaching and training to enable them to bring their business to the next level. This year, the SME Innovation Challenge 2014 will feature an enhanced structured learning programme, CEO Chatroom series with top business leaders, and cash prizes of up to RM600,000.
The SME Innovation Challenge 2014 features three tiered main prizes and one category prize namely the Tan Sri Liew Entrepreneurship Award of RM250,000, first runner-up prize of RM150,000, second runner-up prize of RM100,000 and Microsoft sponsored a Technology Award with a RM100,000 cash prize.
Both the YEC2014 and the SME Innovation Challenge 2014 are part of the BizSmart Academy, an online resource centre filled with information to empower businesses to grow profitably and sustainably. Existing customers can also sign up for relevant business seminars via the online site. It is the Bank’s 360-degree proposition to help SMEs accelerate their businesses from all aspects in terms of business support, business networking, advisory, as well as formal and informal learning.
For more information about the Alliance Bank BizSmart Academy, visit www.BizSmart.com.my.