Upskilling initiative aims to put youths in business

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Youth-led social enterprise Accelerate Global gave recognition to market-ready entrepreneurs graduating from its upskilling programme.

The graduation ceremony for the Accelerate Reach Entrepreneurship Programme, organised in partnership with Chow Kit Foundation, was held virtually due to movement restrictions under Phase One of the National Recovery Plan.

In attendance were 19 graduates and 80 guests that included guests-of-honour Negri Sembilan prince Tunku Zain Al-’Abidin Tuanku Muhriz, Chow Kit Foundation founder Datuk Dr Hartini Zainudin, Accelerate Global founder and chief executive officer Nur Raudhah Nazran Nazari, Chow Kit Foundation chief executive officer Ananti Rajasingam, Impact Malaysia chief executive officer Ahmed Faris Amir and representatives from PwC Malaysia, Hasanah Foundation and Sime Darby Foundation.

Accelerate Reach Entrepreneur-ship Programme is held over three-and-a-half months, with an added four-month business incubation period designed to help youths -– especially the underprivileged and the marginalised –- to become entrepreneurs in their own right.

The end goal is for the youths to graduate with not just a prototype but also a validated business idea, putting them on a trajectory of financial sustainability.

The programme was designed by Accelerate Global to counter youth unemployment effectively.

Nur Raudhah said the entrepreneurial programme was not just about providing youths with job opportunities and soft skills, but was also about guiding them on ways to become self-sustainable.

“How to become job creators? How to start something out of nothing? If they can do this, then they can most definitely take life head-on,” she said.

Ananti, in supporting this statement, said, “I am truly grateful that our team of teachers took up this opportunity when Nur Raudhah first presented this programme to us.

“It is truly crucial to not only give teenagers and youth life skills, but also teach them how to market their products to create revenue for them and their families.

“This programme is a stepping stone to creating young business-minded youths who may venture to have their own businesses and create job opportunities for others,” Ananti added.

The success of this initiative was evident during the graduation ceremony where students of Chow Kit Foundation showcased their products and pitched their business ideas to the guests.

Kinza Ishfaq, 18, a participant in the entrepreneurship programme, in an interview with the Accelerate Global’s special associate Ardini Batrisyia, said, “Accelerate Global teaches us to make changes in our life.

“Before this, we only learnt theories but never the practical side. Now, we have the chance to put theory into practice,” Kinza added.

Asked about Accelerate Global’s mission to empower youths worldwide, Nur Raudhah said she believed in helping all youth, regardless of their background, race, religion and citizenship.

“Humanity first, always,” she affirmed.

In combating youth unemployment, Accelerate Global also has a Crash 14-Day Entrepreneurship Boot Camp aimed at young adults with hectic schedules, as well as a five-day Career Boot Camp to help youths develop career-ready skills, gain internship opportunities or secure employment.

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