KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 (Bernama) — SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp) hopes the upcoming Budget 2019 would set aside an adequate allocation for SME development programmes under different ministries and government agencies.
Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rizal Nainy said more than 15 ministries and over 60 agencies are currently implementing various SMEs development programmes.
“For SME Corp, we have our long-term strategy as well, among them is to create more innovative and productive firms so that they can contribute more to the economy, especially to gross domestic product growth,” he said.
Rizal was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the SME CEO Forum 2018 here today.
According to Rizal, SME Corp, which has been placed under the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development, had earlier outlined a strategic plan to help the bottom 40 per cent household income group (B40), youths and women entrepreneurs.
“The plan aims to assist these targeted groups that we see can contribute more to economic growth,” he said.
For instance, he said SME Corp has noticed that the number of women entrepreneurs in Malaysia is on the rise.
“Currently, about 20.6 per cent of total SMEs, or equivalent to more than 187,000 business establishments in the country, are owned by women.
“Meaning that they hold more than a 51 per cent stake in a company, or they are the CEO or Managing Director holding about 10 per cent equity in that company,” he said.
On the assistance programme for the B40 group, he said it is more about helping them with access to financing.
“Hopefully with micro-financing, especially when financial technology kicks in, they could be more aware about this and get some help from that, and not rely just on the conventional banking institutions,” he said.
Rizal noted that that access to financing is one of the six focus areas under the SME Masterplan (2012-2020), which is also in line with the focus outline in the recent mid-term review of the 11th Malaysia Plan.
“Access to financing has always been one of the challenges for SMEs.
“Nevertheless, proper programmes designed by the government such as introducing capacity and capability building, as well as training programmes, can also help the SMEs to grow further,” he said.
Malaysian National News Agency
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