cediUUM ONLINE: The Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Cooperative and Entrepreneurship Development Institute (CEDI) is committed to building an entrepreneurial ecosystem among students in an effort to mould them into job creators rather than job seekers.

The Executive Director of CEDI, Assoc. Prof Dr. Chandrakantan Subramaniam, said the two key roles of CEDI were to open the minds of the students and nurture the entrepreneurial DNA to make entrepreneurship as one of their preferred career choice after graduation.

According to him the innovation would help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which were also a strategic approach to support youth in the growing gig economic ecosystem in Malaysia.

The Gig Economy is a short-term, contract-based employment supported by technology applications such as online businesses such as food panda and grab.

“Many students do business the Gig economy way especially in Newseed, these are the ones who are bold, dare to experiment and brave enough to showcase the advantages of selling products.

"This is where CEDI can help but we cannot move on our own. We need the cooperation of the other departments as entrepreneurship is not owned by anyone, not even CEDI. It belongs to the masses, only then it brings about a bigger impact," he said.

He also added that in line with the University's aspiration, CEDI will assist graduates looking to start their Business, which in one fell swoop would contribute to the increase in Graduate Marketability (GE).

"It is an advantage for students who possess entrepreneurial mind, when they are interviewed, they can ‘sell’ their talent, they will be amongst the top 5, excellent and go further," he said.

According to him, many students were trained according to their expertise in consultations and as consultants namely Social Work Studies students can be sent to advise families with problems and Islamic Finance students can be Islamic Will Writers.

"UUM has the potential to become an entrepreneurial leader thanks to the strong support from the Vice-Chancellor and the three Vice-Chancellors who have built such a conducive ecosystem," he said.

In addition, he said UUM’s ascent in the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings (QSWUR) Under 50, further proved that UUM had the right formula.

“I am honoured that even though UUM’s forte is not in science and technology and within these limitations, we have achieved numerous achievements. The number of students doing business on campus is 15% or 2,615 while the percentage of students starting business after graduation is 5% equivalent to 109 students.

"As the rankings rise, more and more universities are coming over to UUM for benchmarking purposes. We, however, must not rest on our laurels. We need to strive harder and maintain our momentum so that we can achieve greater heights," he said.