KUCHING, November 9: Youth startups and creatives should be bold to put themselves out there to get market exposure and take advantage of available programmes for entrepreneurs and digital businesses.

In an interactive session with Assistant Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan during the first day of Kuching Youth Day Out 2018 (KYDO) themed “The Power of Leverage: How Youths Could Initiate and Inspire Change to Society and Government”, he spoke on the opportunities and challenges that face the youth group in urban and rural areas in the entrepreneurship and digital economy sectors.

“Now Sarawak has become a center for business people to come. The Peninsular Malaysia market has become too crowded. For those who are farsighted, they can see Sarawak as ‘lubok rezeki’ and the West Malaysian businessmen want to open up businesses here and do joint ventures with Sarawakians,” said Snowdan, who officiated the two-day youth programme from 9-10 November organised by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak and youth volunteer group AZAM Young Souls.

About 85 participants from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, UiTM Sarawak, TedX Kenyalang and local youth attended the programme which saw youth entrepreneurs, startups, creatives and youth-driven outfits like HAUS KCH and The Champions inspire, influence and generate impact on young people to set and achieve higher goals for Sarawak.

In his opening speech, Snowdan commended KYDO for being in line with the state government’s aspirations to hold more creative and dynamic events to engage and inspire the younger generations as key stakeholders and partners in our development agenda.

“Events such as this, which take into consideration, very current trends, opportunities and challenges, are ideal platforms to nurture future leaders; leaders who are knowledgeable, innovative, dare to take risks, embrace high integrity, inclusive and visionary.”

The purpose of the Ngopi Ngeteh 2.0 portion of KYDO is to spark brainstorming and discussions among the youth groups, including on the best way to implement digital initiatives in various economic and socio-economic sectors within local communities.

“The youth have the opportunity to support development in many anchor sectors in Sarawak’s Digital Economy Strategy, which include but are not limited to, E-Commerce, Social, Tourism and even Agriculture.”

The objectives of the programme are to bring together Kuching youths from diverse backgrounds and interests to converse, perform and play together as part of a healthy lifestyle and social interaction, to get local youths to talk about current social and economic trends with a view to encourage the younger generations to contribute ideas and recommendations on moving forward; and to help provide a stronger unified front for the youths to be heard, to be engaged and included in the state’s development process.

It is hoped that this programme will drive youth development for Kuching and, Sarawak as a whole, to the next level, capitalising on Sarawak’s own unique gifts and strengths.