KUALA LUMPUR, 12 November 2018 – More than half million ringgit was generated by the participants of SME Bank Y-Biz Challenge from 2012 until now allowing this competition to successfully achieved its main objective of making entrepreneurship as the key choice of career among the youths. SME Bank Y-Biz Challenge is a competition that challenges the secondary school students’ creativity to invent and find a product or services that can be commercialized and achieved the level of investor readiness.
At least a total of 10 schools that have participated in the SME Bank Y-Biz Challenge have managed to sell their products domestically as well as internationally. Among the successful products are the E-Pro Buster, a pest repellant solution by Madrasah Idrisiah Perak which had recorded total sales of more than RM300,000.00 between 2015 to 2016. This is a testament that the competition has benefited the students as well as the school and a proof that SME Bank Y-Biz Challenge has become the platform to prepare the youths to become young entrepreneurs.
Aria Putera Ismail, SME Bank’s Chief Executive Officer said, “This program is one of the Bank’s initiatives to uphold the mandate given by the Government which is to nurture and develop more entrepreneurs in the nation especially amongst the youths and through SME Bank Y-Biz Challenge, SME Bank has successfully nurture creative and innovative young entrepreneurs starting from the secondary school level.”
“SME Bank has carved the pathway for the students by giving them the opportunity to operate their businesses and we hope that there are other agencies out there who will be able to realize the commercial value and match them with the investors for startup companies,” he added.
For this sixth edition, SME Bank received a total of 209 participations from 113 schools nationwide and this was the highest record since the first edition in 2012. Out of this, 17% or 35 schools were first time participants. A total of 522 schools involving 2,169 secondary school students had participated in SME Bank’s Y-Biz Challenge since it was first introduced in 2012.
In general, the products produced by the students were based on natural ingredients such as herbs and plants; recycled and organic materials; as well as technology-based services via mobile applications. In addition to the guidance by the teachers, the students also took their own initiatives to seek advice from the experts and conducted in depth research before coming up with the right products for the competition. The panel of judges also provided positive feedback on the quality and usability of the products in the earlier rounds making several of them to be market ready.
Following the success of SME Bank Y-Biz Challenge and the intention to expand its reach, SME Bank decided to introduce another entrepreneurship competition in 2015 namely the “SME Bank 90-days Business Challenge” specially for students of Community Colleges who enrolled in the Entrepreneurship Incubator Programme. And recently, due to change of structure in the Minister of Higher Education, SME Bank 90-days Business Challenge is also open to the Polytechnic students. The third edition of SME Bank 90-days Business Challenge will be organized next year. Y-Biz Challenge and 90 Days Business Challenge are organized on rotational basis.
The prize giving ceremony of SME Bank Y-Biz Challenge 2018 was graced by the presence of YB Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof, Minister of Entrepreneur Development who gave away the prizes to the winners.