KUCHING, July 23 (Bernama) -- Malaysian youths, aged between 18-40, stand to

take home up to RM2 million in financial assistance for winning the Ministry of

Rural and Regional Development''s Rural Business Challenge.

In a statement today, the ministry''s secretary-general, Datuk Ibrahim

Muhamad, said the competition aimed to motivate the youths to develop businesses

in rural areas.

"It is part of the rural development National Key Results Area (NKRA)’s

21st century village initiative that focused on the government’s long-term plan

to reverse the rural-urban migration trend and eradicate poverty in rural

areas," he said.

Ibrahim said the competition was part of the strategy to develop a

comprehensive policy that would encourage young people to return to the villages

and find gainful employment and realistic businesses opportunities," he said.

He said the programme, a collaborative effort with the Performance

Management and Delivery Unit, came under the Government Transformation

Programme’s improving rural development NKRA.

"The proposed business plan will be required to address one of four

categories -- agriculture, services, manufacturing and rural tourism.

"The winners will be provided with financial assistance of between RM500,000

and RM2 million to implement their business plan," he said.

Under the 21st Century village concept, he said, the ministry aimed to

improve infrastructure in villages, create a conducive environment and provide

access to equal employment opportunities for rural people.

The business must operate on land located in rural areas of Malaysia, he


Individuals, groups, enterprises and private companies are invited to

participate while the business must employ only Malaysians from villages in the

vicinity of rural areas and demonstrate a capacity to enhance the local economy.

The closing date is Aug 3 2012 and those interested can get the application

forms from -- BERNAMA


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