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Turning Hobbies Into Money Making Ventures

By Wan Asmanizan Wan Ahmad

CYBERJAYA (Bernama) -- Some collect stamps, some indulge in carpentry or arts, some do gardening, some sing or dance and the list goes on. We all have hobbies, at least most of us.

Hobbies help us spend our time productively and for those who are innovative they may even turn their hobbies into money making ventures.

This was the message underscored by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) at the MCMC myMaker Pavilion during the Kuala Lumpur Science Engineering Fair (KLESF) held at MIECC, The Mines, Sri Kembangan from Nov 4 to 6.

MCMC's has put succinctly to Malaysians "exploit your hobby into financial opportunity".

The world is replete with examples how many people have turned hobbies into multi-million dollar businesses.


Walt Disney, a giant entertainment conglomerate actually started from one person's hobby. The Disney cartoon industry began from the passion of its founder Walter Elias Disney whose hobby was sketching cartoons for his own pleasure.

From his desire for drawing and painting, Disney began to earn money by selling the cartoons he drew to neighbours and family friends.

Looking at the potential, later on he expanded his interest and took up courses to become a better animator. The rest is history and today Walt Disney has become a household name and the company he founded is valued at USD169 (RM730) billion in mid-2016.

There are many other ordinary people who have transformed their hobbies into successful ventures though they may not be a household name like Disney. A woman who loves shopping starts her own virtual clothing chain. A horse race aficionado becomes a successful horse breeder. A guy who loves gardening turns into a highly sought after landscape designer. They all started with hobbies and moved on.

For MCMC the digital world has opened the doors wider for people to capitalise on their hobbies. However, taking the hobbies to a higher level calls for a culture of innovation that is still at infancy in Malaysia.


MCMC's Director of Digital Lifestyle and Society, John Tay Jin Kiong, speaking at the press during the KLESF 2016 said: "In the United States , they encourage the inventing culture and nurture creativity from young. We can find many of them being so passionate about innovating and this is what we are trying to promote as well."

Are Malaysians lacking in innovation? Definitely no! The new gadgets and inventions displayed during the KLESF 2016 is a testament to this.

One of the new invention showcased at the MCMC myMaker Pavilion that received attention was a bicycle powered charger by Biji-Biji Initiatives.

The electricity is generated through the force the rider puts on the pedal. As easy as it sounds, this is a bike that can charge the mobile phone when connected via USB port while one is exercising those muscles. The longer one pedals, the more power one charges back into the phone. So one can charge their phones while cycling on the road or while cycling at the fitness centre.

The other creative pieces by Biji-Biji Initiatives were variety of bags made from disused car seatbelts. The creative women's handbag, men's cross-body bag and also document cover were for sale.

Biji-Biji Initiatives is a social enterprise for profit with social and environment objectives. All of their products are made from recycle materials such as wood waste, diesel drum, metal scrap, rejected seat belt and bicycle tires and many others.

So money could not only be generated through hobbies but also by caring for the environment.


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