Curtin Malaysia’s Knowledge Transfer Programme empowers small businesses for international market penetration

Miri – 7 November 2023 – The Commercialisation Project Team of the Faculty of Business at Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently successfully conducted a Knowledge Transfer Program workshop titled ‘Product Development for Small Business Growth through International Market Penetration’. The programme aimed to equip micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with the knowledge and tools necessary to expand their market presence globally.

The intensive and interactive workshop provided a valuable platform for 11 participating MSMEs that offer market-ready products from various sectors, including food, beauty, wellness, fashion, and arts and crafts. The diverse range of products showcased the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit within the small business community.

The companies were SPL Food Industries Sdn. Bhd., Sisteen Twentynine Sdn. Bhd., KTL – Sinang Food, Iana Corporation Sdn. Bhd., Izzumy Kitchen Delight, Heartini’s Beauty Spa, Oilzania Borneo, Batik Linut Sdn. Bhd., Hornbill Art Gallery, and Artsy Tailor Craft.

TERAJU Wilayah Sarawak also participated in the workshop, bringing their industry advisors from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). This resulted in highly engaging and fruitful discussions, and the exploration of potential commercialisation opportunities.

The workshop focused on strengthening the participants’ product development strategies by analysing the MSME’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT). Through engaging exercises and group discussions, participants were encouraged to delve into the unique selling points of their products, allowing them to differentiate themselves in the competitive international market.

The workshop comprised four main sessions, and a consultation session at the end. The programme commenced with the project team delivering an introductory talk on ‘University and Industry Collaboration for Commercialisation’. This was followed by engaging sessions on ‘Small Business Growth through International Market Penetration’ and ‘UK Trade Mission’, and a collaborative workshop on product development between the university and industry.

The speakers included Faculty of Business academics Dr. Fayrene Chieng and Dr. Tiong Ying, and Cheryl Ellron, founder of Makanbites based in the United Kingdom, who provided valuable insights on international market trends and emerging opportunities.

Dr. Chieng highlighted the significance of the workshop for small businesses, stating, “Our aim was to empower these MSMEs with key insights and practical skills in product development. By reinforcing their unique selling points and helping them identify areas of strength and growth, we believe they are better positioned to penetrate international markets successfully.”

“The success of the Knowledge Transfer Programme highlights Curtin Malaysia’s dedication to supporting the growth and development of small businesses in the region. The Commercialisation Project Team looks forward to planning future initiatives to further empower Sarawakian MSMEs to thrive in the global marketplace,” she said.

She added that the Commercialisation Project Team was thankful to the Curtin Malaysia Research Institute (CMRI) and Miri Entrepreneurship Incubator Club (MEIC) for their generous support and sponsorship to ensure the success of the programme.

Meanwhile, Dean of the Faculty of Business, Dr. Pauline Ho, said, “We are immensely proud of the enthusiasm and commitment demonstrated by the participating MSMEs throughout the programme. Their dedication to enhancing their product development strategies bodes well not only for their businesses but also for the overall economic growth of the region.”

Curtin Malaysia is the largest international campus of Curtin University, a global university known for its strong international focus and commitment to research, innovation, and collaboration. Located in Miri, Sarawak, Curtin Malaysia offers a range of programs from foundation studies to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees across various disciplines.

Information on Curtin Malaysia can be found on its website at, or look for Curtin Malaysia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn or TikTok.

Participants reflecting on their SWOTs during the workshop

Dr Fayrene Chieng facilitating knowledge exchange on product branding

Group photo of speakers, facilitators and participants