Empowerment: Yes We Can!

Last weekend, YouthMalaysia.com joined forces with the Malaysian Young Graduates Society (GRADUAN) and AIESEC Malaysia to organize the 1st National Youth Entrepreneur Convention 2008.

The co-organizers of the Convention, together with YB Dato' Liow Tiong Lai during the opening ceremony

I was amongst the 13 youth entrepreneurs to speak. While I was excited to meet the young and keen participants of the Convention, it didn't help that my organizing committee decided to put me as the last speaker. The 500 odd participants would've been exhausted after a long day listening, absorbing and cheering to the other 12 speakers.

Thank God nobody fell asleep during my session. :)

Nevertheless, as the last one to wrap the Convention up, I decided to share my two cents on the youth community. I believe that youths today have so much potential beyond their own belief - more than they would even imagine of - and there is an impending need for them to identify with not only their individual strengths, but also the collective strength of networking.

Therefore, with that in mind and in line with the Convention's theme, my emphasis was on Empowerment: Why WE Can!

Here are some keypoints on what I've shared:
6 Compelling Reasons Why Young Malaysians Can Succeed

1. We are passionate and driven. - Young people like ourselves want to make an impact. We're not only passionate about what we do - we love challenges and we possess the 'never give up' spirit

2. We are equipped with innovative ideas. - Youths are generally creative individuals and are always bursting with ideas. We want to do something different in our lives to be unique

3. We have open mindsets. -As youths are by and large still in the education process or just graduated, our minds are still fresh . Therefore, we absorb and learn faster.

4. We are technology savvy beings. - In the past, sourcing information has been difficult. We turn to dictionaries, spend hours flipping through encyclopedias and books for information. Now, through the Internet, knowledge is easily accessible. Therefore, the word 'experience' is very much a subjective one - just because one is young, one is not necessarily inexperienced.

5. We work well in teams. - Being young, we tend to work closer with the team, where each team member communicate at the same wavelength due to the age group factor. Rather than getting your team to work FOR you, the most efficient way is get them to work WITH you. This increases communication and morale within the organization, thus boosting productivity and loyalty.

6. We work fast.

5 Shortcomings of Aspiring Youth Entrepreneurs

1. Loss of Focus. - Due to the incredibly long list of ideas which young people like ourselves generate in a day, we tend to get lost within our thoughts. In order to curb this issue, we need to set our objectives from the very beginning, and get our priorities right.

2. Lack of Guidance. - Because we are so caught up in our own ideas, we are unable to see the big picture. The solution? Get a mentor. It could be your parents, relatives, partners, associates, even friends.

3. Low Memory Power. - As tech savvy creatures, we rely too much on technology and computer programmes. As technology makes it easier and faster to process things, we are always taking the convenient way out. Our major issue is our tendency to copy and paste everything under the sun - our data, our homework, your boyfriend's birthdate, important documents, etc. It is extremely important to remember.

4. Communication Failure. - Youths today tend to speak in only one or two languages. This limits our conversational abilities and networking opportunities. Being multilingual, hence, is important.

5. Never Listen. - The MOST apparent shortcoming of a young person, my friends, is the inability to see how important it is to listen. The solution to this is simple. Listen more, talk less, and work hard.

Speakers of the Leadership Session: Joel, Aida Nurlin, Nor Akmar and Raj Ridvan

For those who were present at the Convention, thanks a bunch for your support - it was great meeting the lot of you up. Am personally looking forward to meeting you (and more aspiring youth entrepreneurs like you) up at future entrepreneurship events.

The 2nd National Youth Entrepreneur Convention 2009, maybe? ;)


  1. I wasn't able to attend the first edition due to some personal issues but from what i heard and saw on telly and paper, the event sure 'rocked' i would say.

    Youth National Convention 2009?

    Why not? Definitely!

  2. Hi Joel,

    Just went to your website. It's almost like a fairy tale. You did more than ...my dad side of the family = 12 siblings...i know...^_^

    Just want to say thank you. For the NYC08. For being who you are. You're an inspiration. You know that right? Good.

    The convention was a turning point in my life. I had a hard time concentrating because so many things keep bursting in my head all the time. It was like a wake up call.

    You've woken up the dormant side of me, which i have forgotten. Thank you very much Joel. I'll be waiting for the next one. ^_^