JOHOR BARU, Feb 20 — The Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) has introduced a Public-Private Research Network (PPRN) initiative to promote demand-based innovation programmes with the aim to drive increased entrepreneurial productivity.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad said through this initiative, the MoHE will provide grants to institutes of higher learning to encourage the academics to reach out to the community, thus helping to produce innovations that could increase productivity in companies.

“I am confident with the available expertise, we will be able to help entrepreneurs, especially women to be successful in business,” she said in her speech at the launch of the “Empowering Women Entrepreneurs @ Batu Pahat” programme here today.

She said the MoHE was indeed focusing on development programmes for entrepreneurs in the form of smart knowledge sharing, entrepreneurship education, research and innovation.

As such, she urged entrepreneurs to reach out to universities to help raise the productivity of their enterprises as well as resolve issues that arise.

Noraini said university researchers could also apply for grants from MoHE to assist entrepreneurs.

According to her, the number of women-owned businesses accounted for 20.6 per cent or 186,855 of the total number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) nationwide.

She added that women-owned businesses also significantly contributed RM69.1 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP), besides generating over 786,132 job opportunities with earnings of up to RM11.1 billion. — Bernama