Feature Articles

Malaysia Economic Monitor : June 2018


The ecosystem is supportive of digital entrepreneurship though challenges exist

Malaysia has made significant efforts to establish the right ecosystem to foster digital entrepreneurship. A range of institutions, including the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) and Cradle, have been established to attract investments, provide incentives, facilitate financing and offer training and opportunities to start-up firms. Malaysia’s funding ecosystem functions relatively well in terms of supporting firms at the early entrepreneurial stages. The government’s efforts and those of these institutions, coupled with relatively high levels of digital connectivity and the high-profile success of businesses such as K-fit and Iflix, have played a role in encouraging Malaysians to become entrepreneurs. Malaysia has also pioneered steps to promote inclusivity through digital entrepreneurship programs such as eUsahawan and eRezeki, which is a program intended to enable the B40 and M40 income groups to take advantage of potential business opportunities created by the gig or sharing economy.

For digital entrepreneurship to fully realize its potential, several challenges, including the low level of adoption of digital payments, will need to be addressed. Establishing an environment of confidence and trust is essential to build a vibrant e-commerce environment. This can be achieved through a number of means including establishing a secure and seamless e-payment infrastructure, improving data accessibility and strengthening cybersecurity risk policies and laws. Additionally, the government should continue to build on its various initiatives to develop human capital, including working with the private sector to ensure graduates have the appropriate skills needed to capitalize opportunities in digital entrepreneurship.