Entrepreneurship Programmes to Mitigate Impact of the Pandemic and Expedite the Socioeconomic Recovery Process


Penang, 21 June 2021 – The Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA), in its mandate to revitalise the regional economy, has collaborated with SIRIM Berhad and introduced a new programme under its integrated human capital development agenda called entrepreneur NCER-SIRIM.

The main objective of this two-year programme is to help inculcate and develop micro and Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) to become self-sustaining and profitable. Microenterprises and SMEs need to redesign and adapt their business strategies to minimise the negative impact of the ongoing pandemic on income and to ensure sustainability.


The entrepreneurNCER-SIRIM programme will facilitate microenterprises and SMEs during the economic recovery phase and address the challenges of the business communities during this pandemic period.


"As the ‘Best Partner for Innovation’, SIRIM offers expertise and technology solutions to micro-enterprises and SMEs. Our partnership with an organisation such as NCIA is vital to enable Malaysian entrepreneurs especially in the NCER to be more competitive locally and internationally.


The entrepreneurs are nurtured through our structured programme that comprises training, advisory as well as product enhancement that enable their products to be marketable and enter the digital marketplace successfully," said Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Sabirin Bin Arshad, President and Group Chief Executive of SIRIM Berhad.


The programme will also enable microenterprises and SMEs to gather new skill sets to ensure they remain competitive in the market that they wish to enter and are able to sustain business for the long run. The focus of this programme is on product development, branding and productivity improvement. Participants will be trained in product quality control, branding and labelling, MesTI (Industrial Food Safety and Responsibility Certification under Ministry of Health) and relevant Halal certifications and most importantly financial management and planning.


To spur the local economy, the programme will be launched in three (3) locations: Pulau Pangkor in Perak to capitalize the development of the island as tourism and duty-free tourist attraction; and at the catalytic hubs of I-CON Baling and Yan in Kedah (Integrated Economic & Community Centres (I-CON).


Participants will undergo 3 to 6 months of developmental training after which their performance will be monitored up to 6 months. At the end of the training, participants are expected to have achieved their business targets.


"entrepreneurNCER-SIRIM is a strategic programme under NCIA, and SIRIM is the strategic partner to implement the programme in an effort to help microenterprises and SMEs weather this pandemic period and expedite the process for socioeconomic recovery," said Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John, Chief Executive NCIA.


In the future, and as part of the next phase of the strategic partnership, NCIA will collaborate with SIRIM under the NCER Technology Innovation Centre (NTIC) to develop industry talent ecosystem, as well as the inculcation of research and innovation culture in the field of Medical Devices and Equipment manufacturing.



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