Entrepreneurial Leader of the Year Award

Nik Maheran Binti Nik Muhammad

Finalist of the Entrepreneurial Leader of the Year Award

"I am the Catalyst of Change"

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I have been trusted with multiple, distinctive leadership positions since joining university Malaysia Kelantan in 2012. May of 2019 marked another history in my book of achievement where I was selected among many other intelligentsias at UMK as the Senior Director for Entrepreneurship Institute (UMKEI). The main task is to lead the entrepreneurship agenda of the university; hence liable to perfectify the university’s vision to become the premier entrepreneurial institution of higher learning in Malaysia and rise to be the top entrepreneurial institution in Asia. My passion in entrepreneurship and innovation undertakings coupled with leadership abilities have allowed me to face challenges while holding this important post with ease. Those contributions also granted me the opportunities by several renowned bodies – both international and national - to conduct research and carry out more entrepreneurship projects and honoured me the appointment as a President and Vice President of various international and national Associations. No sapphires or diamonds could give me happiness than to see those under my surveillance bloom into successful individuals. A few programs which I designed, was having the entrepreneurial impacts. Students that I coached has moulded into successful entrepreneurs; Micro entrepreneurs that I mentored had up-skill their business and boost their entrepreneurship knowledge. I thank the Almighty for bestowing me the knowledge that makes me a good leader, a wise change maker and an active role player in the development of the university and community. Thus, the contributions make me worth to be presented as the prestigious entrepreneurial leader of the year accolade.

Key People

Prof. Dato‘ Noor Azizi Ismail
Vice Chansellor
Chansellory,  University Malaysia Kelantan


United States Embassy in Kuala Lumpur EACEA, Erasmus+ European Commission Ministry of Education, Malaysia Babson College, USA


Nik Maheran_Medlit Network

Nik Maheran_Noble Management and Consultancy

Nik Maheran_WPF Malaysia

Nik Maheran_beehive-umk

Nik Maheran_MEDLIT Project

Nik Maheran_From Incubator to Accelerator

Nik Maheran_Avon Centre of Excellence (ACoE)

Nik Maheran_Endowment Microfinance Nadi Corp

Nik Maheran_Beehive Conference

Nik Maheran_Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Digital Speaker Series

Prof. Dr. Nik Maheran Nik Muhammad


Impacting lifes

To have fruitful outcome, execution of tasks need to be handed down with some kindness and consideration. I was the leader for many odd numbers of programs, but I shape my ‘mentees’ with delicacy. Through Beehive Malaysia, I have successfully overseen five (5) students social enterprise and proudly to announce that among those ‘traders’ in the making, Futurizz Venture and Perintis Aulad, are still operating today although they have been graduated from institution. The operators continue with the regulating of the business even after graduating. Through Nadicorp-UMK endowment program that supports micro entrepreneurs, it has successfully helped 13 micro entrepreneurs to up-skilling their business and boost entrepreneurship knowledge through micro-finance program, which include both learning and mentoring exercises. This program has been in its third cycle and has changed life of many from just being a mere micro-entrepreneur to a small medium enterprise.

To ensure the interests stay in the minds among the groups of young bloods at institutions of higher learning, the need of introducing the entrepreneurship education is much needed. Henceforth, I have initiated many entrepreneurship incubators and accelerator programs through boot camp since 2014 which has benefited more than 500 youth. In 2018, to expand the program to regional and international level, Beehive International Social Innovation Conference (BISIC) was introduced. The aim was to bring in participants from other regions particularly the Southeast Asia to benefit from the program. As for today, 150 youth from Southeast Asia namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand are the member of Beehive Network Association.


Lessons learned

The road to be entrepreneurial catalyst in higher institution is often a treacherous one, filled with unexpected detours, roadblocks and dead ends. There are lots of sleepless nights, plans that don't work out, funding that doesn't come through and proposals that never materialize. There are always people who want to push you down and many eyes that like to see you fail. There would also be people who always mimic you by not agreeing with your ideas. Yet, you later discover the ideas you presented are then accepted with a different name engrave on the working paper you earlier drafted. Despite all these bumpy roads that I have to pass through, the aims and dreams of bringing the university, students and society to fruition have never faded. My entrepreneurial spirit is regulated further as I yearn to see the success of others namely students whom I have trained for ‘decades ‘. The final say to those who like to undertake a similar path must; Do it for a PURPOSE – A clear vision of what to be accomplished should be laid. You must continuously regulate attention and genuinely believe of a single-minded commitment to the goal to keep pushing ahead; Secondly, SUSTAINABILITY – You must think of long term and should be guided by desires to create something that outlasts or create a brand that has longevity and becomes an institutional. You must leave behind an innovation that improve people's lives in some tangible way.


What's coming?

To achieve the university target to be number one entrepreneurial university in Malaysia by 2023 and Asia by 2030, apart from 5 initiatives introduced, some of them need to be upgraded and improved. 4PS concept – People, Professional, Private and Public which aim to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem of the university, need to be materialized through tangible connections. Thus, the concept has to be transformed into co-working space which provide a combination of workplace and supporting facilities to the students. This then should link them to the industry, to support the growth start-ups or a business in its early stage of development and also to existing businesses with the potential for fast growth and good financial returns.

To see plans being materialized, ample physical spaces to do business on campus are then provided. However, it is understood that not all businesses require spaces as such, thus virtual space is another alternative to flourish. Hence, virtual mall under ( will be launched to allow students promote and sell products at their convenience. Needless to say, improvement is required to stabilize this platform. Lastly, another brilliant proposal UMKNexus project was then dispatched. This is a special project aim to connect the university’s diverse cross-sectoral entrepreneurship ecosystem; Foster cross-sectoral, inclusive and collaborative approach to the Student Entrepreneurship Program; Promote student business innovation and global market exploration; and Connect student entrepreneurs to local economies, Activity national network and global ecosystem. This mark Universiti Malaysia Kelantan’s readiness into entering the market place by offering products and services within universities.


5 Student Social enterprises

Coaching and Mentoring

13 micro-entrepreneurs

Coaching and Mentoring


Initiatives to enhance UMK as entrepreneurial University


high impact projects led


Entrepreneurship Enhancement projects initiated

RM 8,468,000

Research and capacity building grant


Innovation Awards won


Association Leadership positions

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