Entrepreneurship drives business growth, but it is also a risky venture. For every successful entrepreneur, there are many more whose ventures have failed, mainly because of a lack of knowledge and training. In Malaysia, Institut Keusahawanan Negara (The National Institute of Entrepreneurship – INSKEN) conducts training and coaching for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, so that they can be better prepared for the world of business. INSKEN CEO Muhd Firdaus Azharuddin explains more to International Business Review.
INSKEN has been around since 2005. I joined in 2017, after a career spanning petroleum engineering, logistics, investment facilitation, and property development. What I wanted to do was to help with human capital development. I was also very fortunate that at INSKEN, we have a young and dynamic team. We are unique because we do not have our own trainers primarily because we want the freedom to be able to pick and choose the best trainers. At INSKEN, the goal of our training and coaching is to help entrepreneurs increase their sales. At the same time, a lot of our work is communicating to entrepreneurs, the government’s aspirations for them and what the government is trying to do for them.
People often have the misconception that all entrepreneurs are the same. But that’s not true. For example, entrepreneurs in urban areas have different needs than those in rural areas. Therefore, instead of having a one size fits all solution, you need to have three to four solutions in order to tackle the different sub-categories. And when we talk about entrepreneurs, we do not just mean the more than 1 million whose companies are registered with SSM (the Companies Commission of Malaysia), but also
The Strong Horse that Pulls the Cart the 1.5 million who are not. This is the informal sector, such as the hawkers and home-based businesses, and they need be trained and coached too.
Challenges and the Road Ahead
Among the things of which I am proud, is how we responded to the first MCO (movement control order) last year. We moved our training online and offered the classes at very attractive prices of around RM10 to RM50. We also conducted a total of 151 BizLive sessions via Facebook Live on how to cope with the current situation and sustaining their businesses.
In 2020, we conducted 390 programmes and trained 78,872 people. Our aim last year was to help entrepreneurs survive the hard time during the pandemic. This was done by introducing various digitalisation platforms to facilitate their business transformation.
Moving forward we need to evolve from needs-based entrepreneurship (where people become entrepreneurs because they need money) to an ideas-based one (where people become entrepreneurs because they have an innovative product or service). And to do that, we need to get the best and brightest, such as the top graduates, to become entrepreneurs rather than take on other professions.
At INSKEN, our vision for the future is to help entrepreneurs embrace the changes in business landscape from conventional to digital as the new normal. After all, as Winston Churchill once said: ‘Entrepreneurs are the strong horse that pulls the whole cart’.
Source: Article is published in International Business Review Magazine, Volume 137