This Programme Gives Freelancers The Digital Know-How To Thrive In A Pandemic
Can the digital economy help Malaysian freelancers rebound in a pandemic? And how can individuals future-proof themselves and reach the clients they need during a lockdown?
The answers to these and more questions can be found in the Me.reka Digital Entrepreneur programme, a four-week digital upskilling and entrepreneurship course launched this year during Malaysia's lockdown period. Unsurprisingly, the implementation of the full lockdown has taken a huge toll particularly on local businesses that have little-to-no online presence.
Presented by The Biji-biji Initiative's education arm Me.reka in partnership with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Microsoft Malaysia, Hong Leong Foundation, MaGIC, the Sabah Creative Economy and Innovation Centre (SCEIC) and Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Sarawak (TEGAS), this flagship programme was started to equip entrepreneurs and businesses in the 'Covid-19 generation' to succeed in Malaysia's emerging digital economy.
The ultimate goal is to upskill 10,000 individuals in Malaysia not only to weather the business challenges of a pandemic but to prepare themselves for the ever-evolving digital job market.
"We’ve curated this programme to be intensive and transformative, where participants will learn technical and soft skills that are vital in the 21st-century job market," shares Ambika Sangaran, Me.reka's programme director. "Entrepreneurs in Malaysia's B40 communities in particular may have many questions about operating a business online, anything from how to price your services, how to build customer relationships and even how to manage your time as a freelancer. With this programme, they'll have access to mentors and career guidance that they wouldn't have otherwise had."
Over the course of four weeks, programme participants will learn to identify and sharpen crucial skills for the digital economy, learn more about personal branding, learn how to market their strengths on freelance platforms like Fiverr, and acquire basic know-how on caring for your first client, among other practical know-how. Participants will also be paired with simulated work opportunities to better understand the pace of the digital workplace and will also be channeled to Microsoft’s Global Skills Initiative to support their ongoing learning.
“The ultimate success of this programme depends on the participant's ability to deliver high-quality digital services, and create a thriving livelihood for themselves through the digital economy," says Biji-biji Initiative group CEO Rashvin Pal Singh, emphasising that the students will benefit from harnessing real-world work opportunities from Me.reka's network of human resources startups, corporates, SMEs and other partners.
To give the B40 community a fair chance to participate in the programme's upcoming July intake, 500 full scholarships worth over RM640,000 are currently on offer, thanks to the Hong Leong Foundation and the MaGIC Penjana SIM Grant.
Interested to collaborate and be part of Me.reka's impact in Malaysia? Me.reka welcomes partnerships with like-minded organisations and institutions who aspire to help make digital entrepreneurship a reality for more Malaysians, regardless of their background.