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[This is a sponsored article with NextUpAsia.]

Many entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that more funding is the key to business growth. In reality, it’s about the know-how, and who you know that can help guide you to your goal.

That’s according to Freda Liu, a renowned Malaysian host and journalist. Freda is a former Malaysian BFM presenter, and the current producer and host of The Shift Asia, a YouTube talk show focusing on sustainability and market adaptation.

To help entrepreneurs navigate business challenges, Alliance Bank has organised the BizSmart® Business Conference (ABBBC) 2024, supported by NextUpAsia and The Shift Asia.

Meet the organisers: NextUpAsia, also known as the Entrepreneurs and Startup Malaysia group on Facebook, is a community with over 170,000 local entrepreneurs and business owners. Their mission is to support and nurture Malaysian entrepreneurs, helping them become global players.

Freda Liu, producer and host of The Shift Asia / Daniel Cerventus Lim, founder of NextUpAsia / Image Credit: The Shift Asia, NextUpAsia

ABBBC will be held on July 16, 2024, from 8.30AM to 5PM at W Hotel Kuala Lumpur. 

Centered on the theme “Business Beyond Tomorrow,” this one-day ticketed event aims to inspire and educate entrepreneurs with panel sessions, fireside chats, and breakout sessions.

For businesses of all levels

ABBBC 2024 aims to empower your SME to not just survive, but thrive amidst change.

The conference is split into two sessions. 

The morning StartUp Track is for businesses under five years old, focusing on building strong foundations and securing investors for future growth. 

Meanwhile, the afternoon ScaleUp Track will address scaling strategies for established businesses, including companies being taken over by next-gen business owners. 

Image Credit: Alliance Bank BizSmart® Business Conference

These talks will explore how technology can boost your business’s efficiency and share inspiring stories of how traditional businesses are becoming more agile by adopting startup mindsets. 

Attending both sessions will provide practical insights on growing your SME quickly while staying innovative and relevant.

For entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs

Who better to guide you through these uncertainties than seasoned business leaders, industry experts, and thought leaders who have navigated these challenges first-hand? 

ABBBC’s speaker lineup features prominent names like Mamee CEO Pierre Pang, Christy Ng of Christy Ng Shoes, Melvin Chee of RPG Commerce and Montigo, Bikesh Lakhmichand of 1337 Ventures, and ZUS Coffee COO Venon Tian, among others.

Ganesh Kumar Bangah, founder of MOL Global and Commerce.Asia, and Ariel Koh, CEO and founder of FFF Media Group will also be speaking at the conference / Image Credit: Commerce.Asia / Ariel Koh

The sessions will equip you with the strategies and mindset needed to navigate tomorrow’s business landscape. 

This is crucial, as Daniel Cerventus Lim of NextUpAsia observed that entrepreneurs often struggle with storytelling and building alliances. 

“A lot of times, most business owners place too much effort in just their idea. How you can convince partners, investors, and clients to be part of the journey is key to how they need to grow,” he said.

Hence, ABBBC 2024 will also feature expert mentorship sessions and extensive networking opportunities to help drive your business success.

More than a one-day conference

ABBBC is part of a broader initiative to nurture dynamic SMEs, alongside Alliance Bank’s seventh Alliance BizSmart Challenge Accelerator (BizSmart Challenge), which has supported over 155 finalists since 2013. 

Daniel and Freda have been long-term partners working alongside these startups.

Image Credit: Alliance Bank BizSmart Challenge

Notable alumni include Christy Ng and Chriszen Malaysia’s Mandy Leong, each winning RM250,000 from their respective cohorts. 

This year, the top 30 finalists will pitch to venture capitalists, and the top 10 will compete for prizes and training valued up to RM2 million, plus financing of up to RM20 million. 

More information can be found here, and interested applicants can apply on the BizSmart Challenge website by July 15.

ABBBC is an essential event that will mark the kickoff of 2024’s BizSmart Challenge, and you can get your tickets to it here, starting from RM50.

Whether you’re a startup founder, an established SME owner, an aspiring entrepreneur, or a second-gen business owner, this conference can offer you insights and opportunities to boost sustainable business growth. 

  • Sign up for the BizSmart® Business Conference 2024 here.
  • Read about other Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Pierre Pang, CEO of Mamee / Freda Liu, producer and host of The Shift Asia / Melvin Chee, founder of RPG and Montigo

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(UEN 201431998C.)

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