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Young told: Capitalise on digital world
Published on: Sunday, June 18, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: Minister of Special Tasks Datuk Teo Chee Kang urged young entrepreneurs to come up with more new ideas to provide better solutions for more people, using fewer resources, by doing things differently and capitalising on the digital world.

"I believe this is the path towards the creation of a successful, inclusive and sustainable economy.

In other words, strive to be lean, simple, inclusive and clean or green.

"This will also be the essence of the Sabah Long Term Strategic Action Plan towards a 'smart and green' State by 2035 where entrepreneurs' participation is critical in ensuring the State's vision is achieved," he said at the Persatuan Usahawan Maju Malaysia (PUMM) Sabah State Liaison Installation dinner, here.

"I am sure our young entrepreneurs are well aware that capitalising on the digital world or Internet platforms is the game changer for entrepreneurs now and the future," he added, at the event which also marked PUMM Sabah's second anniversary.

He said the new trends of successful entrepreneurs are those who are able to use the digital or Internet world to innovate and create products or services which are "disruptive" i.e. "disruptive innovation or creation."

He cited products and services such as Airbnb, Uber, M-Pesa, Lazada, Grabtaxi, Bitcoins, IBM Watson and Tricoder X Prize.

"The new kind of entrepreneurs are those who turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities using the digital connectivity as the main platform.

"There is no denying that we are already in the era of digital revolution – the Fourth Industrial Revolution," he said. He said others may conceptualise it as the age of innovative disruptive digital revolution, adding that innovative software and applications is envisaged to disrupt most traditional industries in the next five to 10 years.

"Most of the future business opportunities are in developing creative applications through smartphones.

If the business opportunities niche is not workable through smartphones, then your idea may not likely to succeed in the 21st century.

"More and more things have become connected through the digital or Internet world with applications ranging from gardening, transport, energy, farming, education and healthcare," he said, adding that Connected Cars and Smart Homes are now all realities.

"Smart Cities and Industrial Internet of Things have significantly changed productivity, lifestyles and business models.

"Consumers are fast grappling with changes with new smart applications, there is also increasing appetite for green initiatives. In terms of markets, future growth will increasingly come from new consumers in the developing world," he said.

On another note, he said young potential entrepreneurs may have an excellent business idea or proposition but like any start-up, capital is required.

"Access to funding is key. In light of this, under the National Budget 2017, the Federal Government has provided numerous funds to assist and empower entrepreneurs.

"I therefore strongly urge PUMM Sabah under the capable leadership of Dato George Lim to assist our entrepreneurs to take advantage of all these funds.

"In addition, the Government has also reduced the tax rate of small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) chargeable income up to the first RM500,000 from 19 per cent to 18 per cent, effective year of assessment 2017.

"The seriousness of the Government to support the SMEs is also evident by the formation of National SME Development Council chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak," he said, adding that the Government will continue to formulate policies to enhance SMEs growth. - Sherell Ann Jeffrey

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