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Malaysia’s plans to develop its digital ecosystem

Image Credits: Vulcan Post, News Report

Malaysia Tech Week 2019 wrapped up recently having successfully gathered industry players, start-ups and SMEs. The aim of the event was to strategise ways for ecosystem builders to set up businesses in Malaysia, a recent report noted.

Throughout the event, experts and industry insiders shared their ideas on ongoing efforts in Malaysia to develop the talents who are the next generation in building the ecosystem.

Three of these stood out. Namely:

  1. Building think tanks

The Malaysia Innovation Policy Council (MPIC) was established last year in September and will serve as a platform for supporting private sectors’ digital tech initiatives. The Minister of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia stated that the government has taken a consultative approach in harnessing the strength and energy of the ecosystem.

It is hoped that the council will be used to suggest ways in which processes in Malaysia can be streamlined. Moreover, the council will seek to improve access to markets and funding, working towards legalising regulations and to ensure that the government able to cater to the fast-changing technological ecosystem in Malaysia.

Two programmes that offer opportunities for entrepreneurs and freelancers were highlighted.

  • In 2018, Malaysia Tech Entrepreneur Programme was established last year to offer passes to new and established entrepreneurs from overseas. These passes will enable them to come over to Malaysia and set up their businesses.
  • Currently, in the works, the pilot Digital Freelancer Programme offers work visas for tech freelancers to work in Malaysia for the short-term. This will fulfil the demand for blockchain capable talents.
  1. Setting up platforms for tech

The world’s largest social media platform has recently developed an e-learning portal which provides the knowledge to individuals so that they are able to use the right tools and build their capabilities.

The Malaysian Country Director of the social media platform noted that the firm is happy to say that a large number of local businesses are taking the short online courses and training in the site’s platform.

The social media giant’s Malaysia branch continues to help local businesses in gaining more B2B opportunities. This platform allows talents to think about the regional and global perspectives in businesses and markets.

It was noted that Malaysia is unique in that it has ample human talent and infrastructure.

  • Supporting women

During one of the Tech Week’s panel sessions, titled “Where’s The Money”, one of the audience members asked the speakers about their views in supporting women in becoming entrepreneurs.

One of the panellists pointed out that companies need to understand their ideas and interpretations, minimise gender barriers, and make sure that they share the vision with the team.

There is a social push to have more women entrepreneurs in the mix. It is no longer enough to lead the way.

Khailee Ng, Managing Partner of 500 Startups mentioned that the pool of female talents is small. To date, there are 57 female founders in 500 Startups Malaysia portfolio.

He noted that it is important what these services look at all genders and types of people is talent and not let anybody get in the way.

The Acting Group CEO of a venture capital firm specializing in pre-seed, early, seed and start-up investments said that Malaysia needs to spread the word about women entrepreneurs in Malaysia so that businesses can recruit more talented women to their teams.

By supporting the women entrepreneurs, they will be able to use their knowledge and capabilities in helping businesses and contributing to Malaysia’s ecosystem.

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