Kuala Lumpur: 7 April 2021 – SME Bank today launched the Lestari Bumi Financing Scheme specifically for the purpose of developing the micro and small entrepreneurs through an allocation of RM300 million enabling them to increase production capacity, expand market access, and ensuring the business sustainability.
Deputy Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives, YB. Datuk Wira Hajah Mas Ermieyati Hj Samsudin, during the launching of Lestari Bumi Financing Scheme said, “The launching of Lestari Bumi Financing Scheme is very timely as the country’s micro and small entrepreneurs are deeply impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Companies Commission of Malaysia’s (SSM) statistics showed that 41,349 businesses were affected and closed down as a result of this pandemic last year.”
She added, “There are almost two (2) million small and informal businesses that are still unregistered nationwide and more than 92% of entrepreneurs in the country required financial assistance to venture into new businesses. I urge them to register their businesses with the authorities to ensure that their presence can be seen by the government and subsequently suitable assistance can be channeled through government agencies such as SME Bank.”
Group President / Chief Executive Officer SME Bank, Aria Putera Ismail said, “The Lestari Bumi Financing Scheme is part of the initiative announced by the government during the Budget 2021 presentation. Through this scheme, entrepreneurs can apply for working capital financing and purchase of assets with total financing ranging from RM100,000 to RM750,000. This will definitely enable the micro and small entrepreneurs to grow their businesses to a higher level.”
Aria added, “Through the Lestari Bumi Financing Scheme, entrepreneurs will receive a more structured assistance according to their business needs as well as gain access to more effective and organised training and coaching programs from Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn. Bhd. (CEDAR), a wholly owned subsidiary of SME Bank.”
Apart from the launch of the Lestari Bumi Financing Scheme, SME Bank also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with three government agencies, namely Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), TEKUN Nasional and Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM).
Aria said, “The MOU will enable SME Bank to work with three agencies that have an important role in assisting the micro and small entrepreneurs to support the government's agenda in building a holistic and conducive entrepreneurial ecosystem especially post-COVID-19. With this collaboration, SME Bank and its strategic partners can identify the type of financing assistance and entrepreneurship training program required by the target group so that each category of entrepreneurs are not left behind in receiving adequate assistance. In addition, we will also exchange data and ideas in ensuring the process of creating SME development initiatives can be more systematic. This collaboration will mark the beginning of the Lestari Bumi Financing Scheme and we hope more agencies will come on board as our strategic partners.”
The launching ceremony of the Lestari Bumi Financing Scheme and the signing of the MOU between SME Bank with SEDC, TEKUN and AIM is witnessed by YB. Datuk Wira Hajah Mas Ermieyati Hj Samsudin, Deputy Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives and YBhg. Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Lajim Haji Ukin, Executive Chairman, AIM. SME Bank is represented by Aria Putera Ismail, Group President / Chief Executive Officer, SEDC is represented by Deputy General Manager, Hajah Rakayah Hamdan, YBhg. Dato' Adam Abd Ghani, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer represented TEKUN Nasional while Mohamed Shamir Abdul Aziz, Chief Operating Officer, represented Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM).