Standard Chartered Malaysia and Mereka Innovative Education have launched the Digital Entrepreneur with Futuremakers (DE x Futuremakers) programme to nurture a digital-ready workforce and future-proof budding entrepreneurs and businesses via a digital readiness course comprising education, simulated work experiences, exposure and mentorship. Funded by Standard Chartered Foundation, the programme provides scholarships to B40 youths for the eight-week course which includes a project placement to build on technical skills and a one-year career mentorship.
DE x Futuremakers will run from February 2022 until December 2023 as part of Futuremakers by Standard Chartered – the Bank’s global initiative to tackle inequality by promoting economic inclusion for disadvantaged young people across its markets, including those affected by COVID-19. Standard Chartered Foundation is a charitable foundation with programmes focusing on education, employability and entrepreneurship that are designed to tackle inequality by promoting greater economic inclusion for disadvantaged young people from low-income households, particularly girls and people with visual impairments.
Launching the programme was Ts. Mahadhir Aziz, CEO of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), who lauded the introduction of the Futuremakers programme. “While the Fourth Industrial Revolution may be centred on technology, what’s truly lacking worldwide are skilled digital talents to enable a progressive and innovation-led digital economy. Cultivating a digital workforce will require not just the involvement of MDEC and the Malaysian government, but also industries and individuals. The Futuremakers programme will be crucial towards the development of Malaysia into a digital nation and will complement MDEC’s various initiatives in driving the digital talent development of the country,” he said.
Abrar A. Anwar, Managing Director and CEO of Standard Chartered Malaysia, said “Digital entrepreneurship in Malaysia is a growing sector that has the potential to contribute to the social economy for the nation. With digital ubiquity fast becoming the norm, we foresee our partnership with Me.reka helping to drive digital innovation and reshape the country’s digital landscape by helping Malaysians develop the skills they need to jumpstart their careers in technology. At Standard Chartered, we believe everyone deserves an equal opportunity to hone their capabilities and develop themselves. By enabling young people to realise their full potential, we’re aiming to promote economic inclusion and drive commerce and prosperity in the communities where we do business.”
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Standard Chartered has committed USD25 million to support youth-focused economic recovery projects as part of Futuremakers by Standard Chartered. The Standard Chartered Foundation is the lead delivery partner for all Futuremakers projects, including projects supporting economic recovery from COVID-19,” he added.
“The Digital Entrepreneur programme was created with the goal of preparing our unemployed youths for the future of work, by gaining meaningful employment through the digital economy. Together with the Standard Chartered Foundation, we are excited to continue uplifting Malaysian youths with this scholarship programme that also provides a two-week project placement with local SMEs that will further close the gap and empower our youth for the future,” said Group CEO of Biji-Biji Initiative and Me.reka, Rashvin Pal Singh.
Along with the DE x Futuremakers course, Digital Business with Futuremakers (DB x Futuremakers) will run concurrently to help SMEs adopt the digital economy. Through a one-day workshop, businesses will get exposure to the various ways of growing their business with digital technology and best practices. Upon completing a digital transformation plan, they will be paired with DE x Futuremakers talents for two weeks to
bring their plans to life while also further expanding on their digital presence and tackling growth. Successful graduates who complete both the programme and project placement will receive a MYR600 allowance and there is no cost to SMEs to participate in this programme.
Ultimately, this programme intends to create a resilient 21st-century digitally equipped workforce by exposing Malaysians to the demands of the modern workforce. Recruitment is currently open for individual scholars and SMEs with cohorts in February, April, June, July and September. For further details and to find out how to register, visit DE x Futuremakers and DB x Futuremakers.