Case Studies

Dr. Syahira Hamidon, Head of Entrepreneurship Unit, Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia

Entrepreneurship Education (EE) was identified by the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia (MOHE) as a key programme to help graduates become job creators rather than job seekers. However, providing entrepreneurial learning for students was seen as a challenge for educators.

Dr. Syahira Hamidon was responsible for fixing that problem. She felt the solution was to include EE as an integral part of training for educators and, in order to test it out, initiated a pilot programme called “Entrepreneurial Educators Enhancement Program” or 3EP. But here, Dr. Syahira hit a speed bump in having to ensure that it included innovative ways of teaching, using teaching spaces and empowering students. Moreover, the pilot programme had to succeed in order to be implemented. But Dr. Syahira was no stranger to pressure.

“Recognizing the benefits of engaging with diverse sets of people (one of the key lessons I learnt from the ASEAN Leaders Programme) I put together a team with different viewpoints to develop a framework and modules for the programme. The modules developed therein were far more experiential than mere classroom-based versions. Implementation became easy as everyone became more excited and better engaged. I had also included academics, industry players, entrepreneurs, and NGOs in the group, and found some really good ideas were generated for the 3EP.

“I felt more confident leading the team and consistently reminded myself to minimize my prejudices and biases, which was another lesson I learnt on the programme. In addition, I remained engaged with my diverse team throughout the implementation phase. As I learnt from the Singapore experience, there is no point having a good plan, unless you execute it effectively.

“The piloted 3EP received very positive feedback and as a result, I am thrilled to say that MOHE has agreed to recognize 3EP as one of its high impact entrepreneurship programmes.”