Cultivating entrepreneurship on the airwaves
Najihah S 
We create activation programmes such as workshops and forums and we do it at convention centres and higher learning institution, says Low

MANY local radio stations joined the airwaves over the years but newly-established Entrepreneur Fm (eFm) is probably one of the few to focus on cultivating entrepreneurship in the country.

The radio station is the brainchild of Global Entrepreneurship Movement (GEM), a non-profit government agency, catering to business owners and those interested in business in general.

GEM executive director Low Ngai Yuen describes the station as “the intermediary between the business owners and listeners.”

“There is a need for this type of platform to disseminate resources [information] from agencies such as GEM. Last year alone, there were more than 100 entrepreneurial programmes conducted, and GEM was involved in most of it,” she adds.

She says eFm is the brainchild of Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah, who is the secretary-general of the Treasury.


Discussions with members

eFm, based at Futurise Centre Cyberjaya, is supported by the National Entrepreneur Development Office under the Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre.

eFm took only three months to materialise after rounds of discussion with its members. 

Low points out that GEM is made of various individuals who are in banking, government and some runing their own businesses.

“From the discussions that was brought forward by them during the meetings were the things that made eFm into what it is now,” she adds.

Low did a lot of research on her own as well. “I spoke to a lot of radio stations from overseas and also those who do their own podcast to ensure that things are done without any financial wastage and complexities. eFm is built as lean as lean as possible,” she says.

On the distinction between eFm and other radio stations, Low says, “Most of the programmes will be crowd-sourced. You will be hearing stories about how entrepreneurs deal with issues such as facing their fears. What we work on is collecting role model stories to inspire people to be in entrepreneurship.”

She says the programming structure of the station is talk-format and multi-lingual. “Listeners will be able to tune in to the programmes via online streaming and podcast. How long a show will last depends on the listenership. If you’re listened to, you will stay, if you’re not, you will be replaced.”

eFm’s studio, which is equipped with not only audio broadcast facility, but also a green room for video programming, required an investment worth RM1.5 mil.

eFm, which targets GEM’s programme participants as its main listeners, will also be more active in introducing e-Fm as part of its on ground activation programmes to further increase awareness.

“GEM will be turning two years soon and we have quite a good following. We create activation programmes such as workshops and forums and we do it at convention centres and higher learning institutions. That would be one of our ways to reach out to the grassroots level.

“We’re doing things with the least barrier possible. The reason we’re using audio is that it is very accessible. You can tune it when you’re on the move, while you’re at work and we would like to provide motivational shows that would inspire people to be in entrepreneurship,” she adds.


Start-ups in SE Asia

Apart from focusing on local entrepreneurs and businesses, eFm will also look at the start-up actions in the Southeast Asian region, development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as how the future might look like.

From tourism, food and beverages as well as in the technology sector, eFm will be featuring panels from countries such as Thailand to give an insight on what is it like to be a business owner in that country.

It is important to note that business owners are also encouraged to share their entrepreneurship experience and success as well as offering informative programmes such as investor-pitching tips and increasing productivity by submitting their voice clips to eFm, as part of their on-going podcast programmes.

This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 266.