THE SME Bank 90-Days biz challenge 2022 business competition program has successfully unearthed the entrepreneurial skills of 20 finalists from Community Colleges and Polytechnics when they recorded sales value of over half a million ringgit throughout the 10-month competition period compared to the previous edition sales of RM103,000.

“Overall, since the SME Bank 90-Days Biz Challenge program started in 2015, the total sales value recorded by all participants is approximately RM1.43 mil. This proves that with appropriate training, guidance and dedication, businesses ventured by our youths can be successful despite facing various challenges,” said Entrepreneurship and Cooperatives Development (KUSKOP) secretary general Datuk Suriani Datuk Ahmad during the prize presentation ceremony

Meanwhile, SME Bank group president and CEO Datuk Wira Aria Putera Ismail said “SME bank 90-Days biz challenge is a signature corporate responsibility program organised by SME Bank in collaboration with the Department of Polytechnic and Community College Education (JPPKK), Higher Education Ministry (MOHE).

“Thus far, it has benefited 1,692 students and our record shows that seven companies are still active and continue to run their businesses despite the COVID-19 pandemic and movement control orders two years ago.”

To make this program more relevant and reflect today’s business trend, emphasis is placed on the digital marketing aspect through the production of two business development videos. These videos were uploaded on SME Bank’s Facebook with the aim of getting additional marks through the highest number of ‘likes’. In total, the videos have received 52,078 ‘likes’ and viewed 46,505 times.

SME Bank’s subsidiary Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn Bhd (CEDAR) has been appointed as the business coach for this program.

The hands-on approach used by CEDAR ensures that participants apply the entrepreneurship and digital marketing knowledge that they have learned to their businesses. Among the entrepreneurship topics that were covered by the finalists include presentation or pitching techniques, preparation of business reports and SWOT analysis.

Moreover, SME Bank offers cash prizes totalling RM45,000 for the winners. The champion of the competition takes home a cash prize of RM20,000, a challenge trophy and certificate, while the first runner-up takes home RM15,000, a trophy and certificate and the second runner-up brings home a cash prize of RM10,000 with a trophy and certificate of participation.

The selection of winners was made by a panel of experienced juries in the field of entrepreneurship consisting representatives from SME Bank, Department of Polytechnic and Community College Education (JPPKK), SME Corporation Malaysia, TEKUN Nasional, MARA, Bank Rakyat and SME Bank’s successful client. The winners are evaluated based on marketing, financial, management and technical aspects.

Furthemore, SME Bank 90-Days biz challenge participants will also be registered as alumni and will have access to various benefits such as participating in entrepreneurship programs as well as training provided by SME Bank and other government agencies. Among the entrepreneurship programs that the alumni have participated in is the National Entrepreneur Week organised by KUSKOP.

The prize-giving ceremony was attended by Datuk Suriani, JPPKK senior director of competence Roslee Yahya, MOHE representative Dr Shamsuri Abdullah and Datuk Wira Aria Putera. – Nov 2, 2022

Source: Focus Malaysia Online, 2 Nov 2022