GoDigital Youth by Proficeo to catalyse entrepreneurship ecosystems around Malaysia
After a decade of building a formidable entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Klang Valley, Proficeo is now on a mission to replicate this success all around Malaysia. In their maiden foray outside Klang Valley, Proficeo successfully held their first GoDigital – YOUTH community event in Ipoh, Perak on 7 September 2019 at the Perak Youth Hub.
“Proficeo has a deep understanding of entrepreneurship having worked with thousands of entrepreneurs over the past 10 years. I look back at our journey and am amazed that we have literally built our own mini ecosystem together with our coaches, trainers, mentors and alumni. The Proficeo ecosystem is unique as it has been imbued intrinsically with a “Pay-It-Forward” culture that stems back from when we first launched our signature coaching programme the Coach and Grow Programme or better known as the “CGP” with Cradle Fund in 2011,” said Renuka Sena, CEO and Chief Explorer of Proficeo.
“The CGP was the first long term coaching programme in Malaysia. Proficeo was the first to incorporate economic indicators to a capability development programme at a time when the only KPIs to measure such programmes were attendance and feedback forms. Indicators like “revenue growth over baseline”, “export revenues as a % of total revenue”, an increase in employment rates and funds raised was unheard of then but today is the norm as a result of efforts that Proficeo started in 2011,” she added. To date, Proficeo has supported over 2000 entrepreneurs who have collectively generated over RM2.295 billion in economic impact to the nation and raised over RM427.9 million in growth funds.
“Today, I am proud to see many government agencies and private sector programmes adopting the methodology and framework Proficeo pioneered. Mentorship and Pay-It-Forward movements are mainstream now and I am particularly proud of our alumni who are embracing this culture and taking it into programmes with other government agencies,” she said in her opening address to the 50+ students and youth who attended the event despite being on a Saturday morning over a long weekend.
In fact, Renuka shared that it was because of their alumni that Proficeo decided to embark on this mission.
“We have amazing alumni from all over Malaysia. They are passionate about building ecosystems in their home states and together with them, it is my vision to build mini ecosystems in every state in Malaysia where the local heroes stand up to support, mentor and become role models to the youth. We decided that the youth were the best group to focus our energies as they are born digital, so to speak. All we needed to do is to show them how to harness digital technologies to spark entrepreneurship or at the very minimum to gain financial freedom. Proficeo’s role is to support and empower our alumni and the local community to sow the seeds that will one day grow into an ecosystem,” she stressed.
Khairoul Nazim, co-founder of SenangKIRA and a Proficeo alumni drove up from KL to share with the participants his entrepreneurship journey. Khairoul provided an overview of opportunities available to earn an income from online platforms; be it selling own products via social media platforms or becoming agents or drop shippers. He further shared various ways to use social media channels to market and promote businesses online.
The primary objective of the GoDigital – Youth community event was to showcase local heroes who can be role models and mentors to the youth. Ipoh is particularly blessed with such role models who were enthusiastically looking forward to sharing their journeys with the participants.
The panel consisted of alumni from Proficeo’s coaching programmes namely – Thomas Yip of Radica Software – a giant in the Malaysian technology scene having notable customers like NASA, Apple and Bombardier; Mike Chu of PTT Outdoor – who most recently beat out applicants from all over Malaysia to bag the AMBANK Bizrace 2019 Grand Champion spot and Foo Bao Bao of Cheekaboo.com who sells children’s swimwear on Amazon. They answered questions posed by the participants and shared passionately about their journey of entrepreneurship, their challenges, their motivation and their dreams.
In her closing statement, Renuka announced that the next GoDigital Youth was already in the works and the next city Proficeo would be travelling to would be Johor Bharu. “I believe the event was a resounding success. The youth who attended were exposed to much more than just the knowledge of earning additional income online. They were all offered internships with the Ipoh heroes, they were given access to templates and resources from SenangKira and to kick off their journey online, 30 companies from Proficeo’s alumni were willing to offer business opportunities to the Youth as agents or drop shippers to commence their first steps towards entrepreneurship and financial freedom.”
“In line with the Government’s aspirations, the private sector has to play a bigger role in giving more opportunities to youth, not just in terms of jobs but also to create more entrepreneurs who can independently earn higher incomes and thereby create a high income society in Malaysia. That has always been a key driver of Proficeo’s initiatives and programmes and this will now be extended outside the Klang Valley to other major economic hubs in Malaysia. We welcome government agencies, private sector or youth organisations who want to support Proficeo’s vision of catalysing mini ecosystems all over Malaysia to get in touch with us.
Proficeo’s GoDigital – Youth is a community event and was made possible with support from the Perak Youth and Sports Development Office, Pusat Aspirasi Anak Perak and other local partners such as Digital Perak, KK eCommerce and Perak Youth Hub.