PENANG: 15 November 2019 – SME Bank, the leading Development Financial Institution (DFI) in serving the SMEs and an agency under the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED), expects more opportunities to be created for Penang entrepreneurs following an engagement session with the members of Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce (PCCC). More than 80 entrepreneurs who are PCCC members attended the SME Bank’s Let's Engage session with PCCC held in Penang today.
Aria Putera Ismail, Group President/Chief Executive Officer of SME Bank said, “As we continue to engage with important stakeholders, we constantly take the challenge to improve our approach and create differentiation in order to make the engagement more impactful. Interaction with dedicated groups such as PCCC today is a testament of our effort to offer expertise in financing and developmental programmes to address key issues faced by SME entrepreneurs. The main focus is for both parties coming together to create access to financing within the SME eco system. This will eventually lead to the long term business sustainability and economic growth.”
For the Northern Region, SME Bank operates through two branches namely Seberang Jaya Enterprise Centre and Alor Setar Enterprise Centre. As of October 2019, the Bank’s Northern Regional Centre has approved financing worth more than RM247 million. The facilities offered are for contract financing, working capital and assets purchase.
Statistics have shown that Penang has successfully recorded 5.4% economic growth for the first nine months of 2019, compared with 4.9% in 2018. Based on these figures, SME entrepreneurs in Penang specifically and the Northern Region generally have huge potentials to grow and become even more significant contributors to the country’s economic growth moving forward.
SME Bank takes the mandate of nurturing and developing SME entrepreneurs a notch higher by providing counselling or coaching not only for financial purposes but developmental programmes as well. Through its wholly owned subsidiary of SME Bank, Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn. Bhd. or CEDAR has trained more than 43,000 participants in various entrepreneurship programmes.
In its effort to stay relevant in the market as well as responding to the rapid development of the digital world, SME Bank has been given the responsibility by the government to lead the digital initiatives of the National SME Digital Platform. Earlier, SME Bank has launched ScoreXcess, a dedicated digital platform that acts as a one stop portal for micro and small enterprises to obtain financing from the relevant government agencies that participated in this programme. Moving forward, SME Bank will be launching several more digital initiatives that is expected to revolutionise the ways SMEs are being assisted.
Also present during the engagement session are Datuk Tan Hiang Joo, Deputy President PCCC, Dato’ Seri Nazir Ariff, Chairman of SME Bank and Mohammad Hardee Ibrahim, the Chief Banking Officer of SME Bank.