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SME Bank strengthens support for MSMEs

23 October 2023


KUALA LUMPUR: The RM1.7 billion from the recent National Budget 2024 will be utilised by SME Bank for new and existing initiatives, including financing facilities and capacity-building programs, aimed at strengthening various sectors.

SME Bank's Group President/CEO, Datuk Wira (Dr.) Aria Putera Ismail, expressed their appreciation for the 2024 budget, which will enable them to further support Malaysian micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The bank has identified three key aspirations: technology transformation through Industry4WRD, empowerment of MSMEs in the halal industry, and expansion of regional exports. These aspirations align with the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030), which aims to develop Malaysia's industrial capacity for long-term resilience and sustainable growth.

In a statement released today, he stated that under the Industry 4WRD initiative, SME Bank will offer financing solutions for working capital and asset acquisition to MSMEs embracing technology transformation.

This initiative includes a capacity-building program that leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) to strategically enhance customer service, bolster marketing and sales efforts, and drive growth. The SME Technology Transformation Fund at RM400 million and Dana Pemantapan Automasibat RM50 million have been allocated to support this initiative.

SME Bank's pivotal role as an enabler for MSMEs within the halal industry is solidified through the HalalBiz Financing Programme, which has received a substantial allocation of RM100 million. This program is administered under the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development (MECD) and supports MSMEs in their halal journey.

In 2023, MECD allocated RM2.15 million to SME Bank's subsidiary, the Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn. Bhd. (CEDAR), to provide comprehensive financial support, strategic advisory services, and capacity development.

To nurture global champions among Bumiputera SMEs, SME Bank has received a total of RM3 million to continue offering entrepreneur capacity development through the Business Export Programme (BEP). Additionally, the bank has received additional funding for the Jaguh Serantau Financing, totaling RM300 million.

SME Bank's commitment to supporting Bumiputera entrepreneurs is further demonstrated through the Dana Kemampanan PMKS Bumiputera program, which has received an allocation of RM200 million.

This program provides financial assistance, including financing offers and matching grants, to enhance the capacities of MSME Bumiputera businesses, improve production capabilities, expand market presence, and enhance overall competitiveness.

The Juara Lestari Perusahaan Sosial 2.0 initiative aims to increase the number of accredited social enterprises (SEs) supporting the SEMy2030 program of the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development (MECD). SME Bank has allocated RM1 million to this initiative, which will be implemented by CEDAR.

The program will provide comprehensive support, including training, business planning coaching, and facilitation grants. This initiative builds upon SME Bank's 2023 Juara Lestari program. Social Enterprises (SEs) will also have access to financing support from SME Bank for asset acquisition and working capital needs through the Skim Pembiayaan Perusahaan Sosial, with a total allocation of RM15 million.

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