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Zero2Maker Programme to Go Regional After Success in Kedah Pilot


ALOR SETAR: Sixty students and 20 teachers from 10 schools in Kedah participated in the first Zero2Maker (Z2M) program, aimed at creating future innovators and entrepreneurs in the state and the country. Organised by the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre (IEC) of Asia School of Business (ASB) and Green Growth Asia Foundation (GGAF) together with Menteri Besar Kedah Incorporated (MBI Kedah) and the Kedah Education Department, the Z2M program is aimed to catalyse entrepreneurship development by building 21st century skills and enhancing exposure to innovation and technology.

The Z2M program is designed to take the students through experiential learning to stimulate creativity, technical skills, communication abilities, and self-confidence. In the pilot, 60 students and 20 teachers from 10 secondary schools in Kedah took part in a three-day workshop from May 14 and went through interactive activities covering the basics of creativity, design and product fabrication. Kedah Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Haji Mukhriz Tun Mahathir, who is patron to the program, said he was delighted that the state was chosen to pilot such meaningful program that also sync with state agenda in improving the education system in the state

“We hope to see changes in our youth. We want them to be a thinker and a doer and this program can teach them to be more creative and innovative. I see the potential in the Z2M program and hoped that it will be expanded to more schools in Kedah in future, so that more students can gain benefits from it,” said Dato’ Seri Haji Mukhriz. Following the successful workshop, a state-wide competition will be held in November to bring together all 10 schools and their students as they showcase their commitment to creativity and innovation. The program is planned to be expanded nationwide as well as to Indonesia and Thailand if the pilot is successful.

Designed, developed and delivered by ASB’s Professor Rajesh Nair, the Z2M program is also part of a research initiative by ASB to determine how the exposure to these types of training and early interventions of “making” and “tinkering” programs develop the innovation and entrepreneurship skills, as well as shape the attitude of youths. “The idea behind this program is to expose students at an early age to things like applied science, technology and design to try to change their life trajectory. We want to help build self-confidence through the program, ultimately hoping that the program had helped to realize their hidden (full) potential as they become young adults,” said Professor Nair.

“We will use this pilot as a model to scale the initiative to other schools in the state and neighbouring countries through the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT). The target is to scale the program to 25 public universities, 250 schools and 25,000 young people by mid-2020,” said Dato’ Dr. Dionysius S.K. Sharma, Executive Director of GGAF. Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a key supporter of the research reflecting their commitment in assisting countries in Asia and the Pacific to achieve the goal of quality education for all.

“Changing communities from the grassroots level requires interventions like this that transforms children to become innovators and entrepreneurs in the future. This in turn enables them to solve problems, start-up companies and create more jobs,” said Christopher Morris, Head of NGO and Civil Society Center at ADB. MaGIC plays a vital role as a program partner and intends to continue working with the Kedah schools through its MaGIC Ecosystem Builder initiative to further build an innovation-driven entrepreneurship ecosystem in these schools. This will further aid to sustain and scale the entrepreneurship movement in Malaysian Schools and Universities.

Dzuleira Abu Bakar, CEO of MaGIC shared, “We must inculcate a problem solving mindset at a grassroots level which is why we are thrilled to be a partner for Z2M. We have provided 10 units of Z2M ‘Makerlab In A Box’ starter kits that contains tools like 3D printers, electronic supplies and other materials for these students to kickstart a maker lab in their respective schools.”

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For more information, please contact:

Pek Ee Siew
Director, Marketing
Asia School of Business
M: +6012-4353095

About Asia School of Business
Asia School of Business (ASB) was established in 2015 by Bank Negara Malaysia in collaboration with MIT Sloan Management to be a premier global business school, a knowledge and learning hub infused with regional expertise, insights and perspectives of Asia and the emerging economies. ASB is committed to develop transformative and principled leaders who will contribute towards advancing the emerging world.

About Green Growth Asia Foundation
Green Growth Asia Foundation is a nonprofit organisation that provides a platform for leadership, thought and action in responding to sustainability challenges in Asia. It is achieving this through cutting edge ‘green growth’ programs that drive economic prosperity within a socially inclusive context, underpinned by a strong sense of responsibility towards the environment and advanced through education for sustainable development initiatives.

Our work is undertaken strategically and this is guided by our Green Growth Strategic Framework (GGSF), which sets out our vision and goals together with our method of working. We have a special focus on Education for Sustainable Development and our Eco-Schools Programme and Young Reporters for the Environment are good examples of our programs under this pathway.

To learn more about GGAF, please visit

About Menteri Besar Kedah Incorporated
Menteri Besar Kedah Incorporated (MBI Kedah) tasked with driving progressive changes in the state’s core and ancillary sectors, expending state income through high impact businesses and promoting partnership in strategic areas as well as ensuring the sustainable growth and the development of Kedah Darul Aman.

To learn more about MBI Kedah, please visit

About Asian Development Bank
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. It assists its members and partners by providing loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments to promote social and economic development. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

To learn more about ADB, please visit

About Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre
MaGIC bridges together start-ups, corporates, investors, academics, and the government to create a vibrant and collaborative entrepreneurship ecosystem that will build sustainable industries, able to navigate challenges of tomorrow and stay competitive in economies of the future. MaGIC propels the nation’s economic transformation by moulding Malaysia’s next generation of entrepreneurs to generate future-ready solutions.

As one of the building blocks, MaGIC works to create and equip these exponential entrepreneurs with the necessary tools, skills and capabilities to succeed; creating an open and collaborative environment with key ecosystem players to build sustainable future industries; and connecting new ideas to capital and markets more effectively. MaGIC is also committed to propel the aspiration of Malaysia’s Social Enterprise Blueprint, drive the need for systemic change, create an enabling ecosystem as well as cultivate and champion impact driven entrepreneurship regionally.