KUALA LUMPUR: 12 November 2019 – SME Bank, a leading Development Financial Institutions (DFI) and an agency under the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Celcom Axiata Berhad (Celcom) to produce SME champions in the country's telecommunications sector.

Aria Putera Ismail, Group President/Chief Executive Officer, SME Bank said, “This collaboration has opened up opportunities for SME entrepreneurs who are Celcom-registered contractors, vendors and suppliers to gain access to the RM100 million financing facility provided by SME Bank. The facility offered is in the form of Contract Financing, Working Capital and/or Purchase of Assets. In addition, SME Bank’s subsidiary, Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn. Bhd. (CEDAR), will also conduct special development programs for these entrepreneurs as well as those involved in the telecommunications sector in general.”

Aria added, “SME Bank has undertaken various initiatives to develop the country's SMEs. The latest is the National SME Digital Platform initiative, where the Bank through CEDAR, launched the ScoreXcess digital platform to facilitate the access of financing for the micro and small-scale SME entrepreneurs from various government agencies or organizations. By using Artificial Intelligence (AI), ScoreXcess will evaluate the capabilities and needs of SMEs and matched them with suitable financing products. In addition to ScoreXcess, SME Bank will launch several other digital initiatives in the near future”.

Idham Nawawi, Chief Executive Officer, Celcom Axiata Berhad said Celcom is looking forward to work with organizations such as SME Bank to enhance the sustainability of the Vendor Development Program (VDP) run by Celcom since 2016. “Throughout the implementation of the program, we have come to realize that some of the constraints in SMEs growth are access to financing. Therefore, we are pleased to collaborate with SME Bank in support of the VDP program that we are working on to ensure a more vibrant development among the SMEs listed under Celcom.”

As a company that is actively involved in developing the community, we want our vendors to grow with Celcom and to prepare them to face the challenges such as adaptation to technology that may increase their operational cost. Through this partnership with SME Bank, they will not only have access to financing, but also the opportunity to get expert consultations in managing their business financing needs.” Idham said.

The signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was witnessed by YB Datuk Wira Dr. Mohd. Hatta Ramli, Deputy Minister of Entrepreneur Development. Signing the MoU on behalf of SME Bank is Aria Putera Ismail, Group President / Chief Executive Officer and Mohamad Idham Nawawi, Chief Executive Officer of Celcom signed the MoU on behalf of Celcom.

 MoU SME Bank Celcom

YB Datuk Wira Dr. Mohd. Hatta Ramli, Deputy Minister of Entrepreneur Development (Three from right) witnessing the signing ceremony of the MoU between SME Bank and Celcom. Signing on behalf of SME Bank is Aria Putera Ismail, Group President / Chief Executive Officer (second from right) and Mohamad Idham Nawawi, Chief Executive Officer of Celcom signed the MoU on behalf of Celcom (third from left) together with the VIPs.

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