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KUALA LUMPUR: 29 September 2022 – SME Bank has allocated RM1.7 million to continue the Penjana [email protected] Bank 3.0 program involving 249 B40 entrepreneurs as an initiative to revive and strengthened their businesses.

YB Tan Sri Noh Haji Omar, Minister of Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development (KUSKOP) during the officiating ceremony said, "The implementation of the Penjana [email protected] Bank program not only able to optimize the impact in developing the people's economy, but also in line with KUSKOP’s aspiration and strategy under the KUSKOP Strategic Plan 2022 to ensure that more than 1.1 million entrepreneurs will be able to achieve higher growth than the pre-pandemic.”

Tan Sri Noh added, “Looking at the effectiveness of this program, KUSKOP had also provided a fund amounting RM3.0 million last year for SME Bank to organise the second edition of Penjana [email protected] Bank Programme. From the 220 B40 entrepreneurs who benefited from it, 137 participants managed to record total business sale of RM4.03 million, an excess of 73.52% over the initial target. The participants have also developed their own business websites and 178 of them have adopted digital accounting system in managing their finances.”

Datuk Wira (Dr.) Aria Putera Ismail, SME Bank Group President / Chief Executive Officer said, "In addition to the allocated budget, for the first time and in line with the initiative under the Performance Measurement Framework by Bank Negara Malaysia, SME Bank created opportunities for external parties to contribute through the crowd-in fund concept enabling the public to be a part of this program thus increasing the number of participants.

Datuk Wira Aria added, "Up to date, SME Bank has successfully collected RM400,406.00 from 35 companies as well as contributions from SME Bank's own staff. With this contribution, SME Bank managed to add 49 participants, bringing the total number to 249 compared to the initial target of 200 participants.”

SME Bank has appointed Center for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn. Bhd. (CEDAR) a wholly owned subsidiary of SME Bank as the training provider and this program will run for three months from now until December 2022. The training modules consist of digital marketing and business, basic accounting systems, payment gateways as well as proper business and financial management.

Four main targets have been set to ensure the participants achieve long-term impact of this program. This includes to register their business, adaptation of digital marketing and accounting systems as well as the use of payment gateways to advance their business. Participants who achieve the targets will receive a business grant amounting RM5 thousand each.

The implementation of the Penjana [email protected] Bank 3.0 program is in line with SME Bank's transformation towards the adaptation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) in its business operations. It also supports the Second Phase of SME Bank's Three-Year Sustainability Roadmap (2021-2023) namely ESG Implementation and Streamlining Non-Business Focus. Ultimately, SME Bank's efforts in adapting ESG will directly support Malaysia's and the United Nations' (UN) 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

The launching ceremony of the Penjana [email protected] Bank 3.0 Program was officiated by YB Tan Sri Noh Haji Omar, Minister of Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development (KUSKOP) and YBhg. Dato' Suriani Dato' Ahmad, Secretary General of KUSKOP.

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