KUALA LUMPUR: SME Bank Asnaf Entrepreneurship Programme (ISHRAF 2.0) has successfully achieved cumulative sales of RM3.6 million through 79 participants as of the third quarter of 2022.
Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Datuk Ewon Benedick said SME Bank has allocated a Zakat fund of RM600,000 for the programme while strategic partners, Yayasan Pembangunan Ekonomi Ekonomi Malaysia (YaPEIM) and SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp), have each allocated funds amounting RM284,400 and RM190,000 respectively.
He said the addition of funds allowed the programme to benefit more Asnaf entrepreneurs in six states namely Perlis, Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Sabah and Kuala Lumpur compared to the ISHRAF 1.0 edition.
SME Bank group president/chief executive officer Datuk Wira Aria Putera Ismail said the five best ISHRAF 2.0 programme participants have recorded an average sale of RM22,000 per month.
He said overall participants' sales have increased with an average sale of RM5,100 per month since joining the ISHRAF 2.0 program, up from RM3,300 per month previously.
The ISHRAF 2.0 programme, which began in November 2021, is a continuation of ISHRAF 1.0 that aimed to improve the living conditions of Asnaf and microentrepreneurs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the topics covered by the participants were the preparation of business plans and models, digital marketing and financial management.
SUSTAINABILITY is an important value-add for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and is transitioning from a "nice to have" to a "must-have". Consumers, investors and regulators are increasingly displaying a preference for sustainable business practices and consciously assessing businesses based on environmental , social and governance (ESG) criteria.
SMEs are generally more vulnerable to impacts from environmental and social issues but are equally more responsive to business trends and can create a positive impact on sustainable development.
However, most sustainability approaches are tailored to corporates and disparate to approaches for SMEs. SMEs require practical guidance and pragmatic approaches that consider SME-specific challenges and opportunities.
To assist Malaysian SMEs in adopting sustainability, the UN Global Compact Network Malaysia and Brunei (UNGCMYB) recently launched the SME Sustainability Action Guide.
The guide explains the importance of sustainability to SMEs and why the adoption of ESG practices makes good business sense . It also gives a clear step-by-step action approach to how sustainability can be implemented.
Source : The Malaysian Reserve, 5 Dec 2022
SMALL and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia contributed 37.4 per cent to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) last year. Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, who is also Minister of International Trade, Industry and Investment, said the country's SMEs also provided 47.8 per cent of employment opportunity.
Source : Borneo Post (Kuching), 2 Dec 2022