The Star’s new weekly pullout focusing on the in’s and out’s and goings-on in the SME sector was launched by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong. LIM WING HOOI and ZIEMAN have the report
The Star is expanding its coverage of the business community with the launch of SMEBiz, a weekly digest focusing on news and coverage of small- and medium-sized enterprises, with the inaugural issue out March 30 today.
Aspiring entrepreneurs who want to know how businessmen make their first million ringgit, the hardships they go through, or find new ideas may just find what they are looking for in the pullout.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said during the launch: “I’ll definitely be making my press secretary bring me my copy every Monday.”
The launch on Wednesday marked the The Star Media Group’s commitment to supporting the SME community with a dedicated SME pullout with nationwide reach.
In his speech, Wee said that while public-listed companies and GLCs form the nation’s economic powerhouses, the country still had to rely on the SME sector in order to achieve sustained economic growth.
“It becomes our collective responsibility to play our own roles in making sure SMEs continue to share in our combined wealth creation, achieve excellence and be export-ready in their own right,” he stressed.
Star Media Group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai added that SMEs were no longer simply ‘small’ and ‘medium’ but were really a new breed of entrepreneurs who were dynamic and social media-savvy.
“We call them Smart Malaysian Entrepreneurs, and we are all in this together, to have your voices heard by the (stakeholders including the) Government,” Wong added in his speech.
A forum entitled “SME Direction with Asean Economic Community (AEC)” was also held during the launch, with the discussion focusing on the opportunities that SMEs could leverage on with the launch of the Asean Economic Community at the end of the year. It was moderated by Secretariat for the Advancement of Malaysian Entrepreneurs’s (SAME) chief executive officer Neil Foo, who noted that Asean’s population of 630mil presented business entities with an interesting proposition.
The two panelists – President of Malaysia China Friendship Association Datuk Abdul Majid Khan and PKT Logistics Group group chief executive officer and managing director Datuk Michael Tio – concurred that SMEs would benefit from the rise of Asean as an economic block, and said companies would need to position themselves strategically to take advantage of the coming wave.
Covering the backbone of the Malaysian economy, StarSMEBiz will regularly feature inspiring stories of entrepreneurs, startups and SME owners.
Besides providing critical analysis of the industry through interviews with key personalities, the pullout will also feature a column by billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson who will dispense advice to those looking to make it as an entrepreneur.
The event was attended by over 150 guests from the SME community, representatives from government agencies and captains of industry.