Rural entrepreneurs are urged to master digital skills to face the increasingly competitive business environment for the sake of their business survival, said Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Rubiah Wang.
She said the ministry hopes that the move will be able to bridge the digital gap between urban and rural areas, further helping rural entrepreneurs to increase productivity and efficiency as well as to be able to do business online in step with the current economic conditions.
"To ensure the success of the transition, entrepreneurs are encouraged to attend training and skills improvement programmes to ensure that customers are attracted to the products being marketed.
"Although digital marketing is currently the new business norm, to market products only on social media without strategy and skills may not be impactful," she told reporters after officiating the Penang Regional Development Authority Expo (Expert) 2023 here yesterday.
The four-day event ending Oct 1 at Midtown Perda, Kubang Menerong, was also attended by Perda chairman Datuk Shaik Hussein Mydin.
Rubiah said the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development (KKDW) also provides various courses and digital guidance via the rural entrepreneur digitalisation programme to help rural entrepreneurs market and improve product quality in preparation for starting online businesses.
She said this includes the operation of the DesaMall@KKDW platform since 2017 to market the products of rural entrepreneurs online on an e-commerce platform.
It also serves as an impetus for a paradigm shift among entrepreneurs to move from traditional business to marketing products online on digital platforms, further popularising the digital economy, she said.
"KKDW has also allocated RM1.7 million for the entrepreneur digitalisation programme by targeting 1,000 entrepreneurs to digitalise their businesses this year. So far, based on our records, 2,472 companies have been successfully digitalised," he said.
Meanwhile, Rubiah said Expert 2023, which is in its second year, is targeting sales and contract revenue of RM1.5 million.
The platform provides a comprehensive space for entrepreneurs who are running their businesses as well as those who have just ventured into the field of entrepreneurship to promote their products and services, she said.
She said this is also in line with the objectives of Perda and KKDW to help rural entrepreneurs introduce and promote their services while enabling them to participate in business matching activities to grow income.
"Last year's event recorded sales and contracts worth RM1.2 million, and we hope this time we can reach the RM1.5 million aim with a target attendance of over 70,000 visitors," she said.
Expert 2023 features 250 exhibition booths, including sales booths for products and services of entrepreneurs, as well as exhibitors from various agencies, corporate sectors, career agencies, machinery and equipment companies.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency