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SME Bank Reiterates Commitment to Bumiputera Entrepreneurs in MSME Development

6 March 2024

Kuala Lumpur, 6 Mar 2024 – SME Bank, a leading Malaysian development financial institution (DFI) in fostering entrepreneurial growth, reaffirms its commitment to empower Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) particularly Bumiputera entrepreneurs which underscores SME Bank's dedicated role as a catalyst for the economic transformation and growth of MSMEs.

SME Bank Group President/Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Wira (Dr.) Aria Putera Ismail said, "We have implemented a comprehensive suite of initiatives tailored to meet the varied needs of Bumiputera entrepreneurs. SME Bank consistently aligns itself with the Government's initiatives and agenda to empower Bumiputera entrepreneurs, in line with the overarching objective of Bumiputera economic transformation outlined in the New Agenda for Bumiputera Empowerment. Since its inception, SME Bank has approved more than RM 30.6 billion financing to a total of 17,380 Bumiputera MSMEs, encompassing dedicated Bumiputera programs and various other financing facilities.”

Such programmes include the i-SMART Programme (SME Bank Upward Migration and Acceleration Programme), a RM 180 million initiative focused on creating Bumiputera champions. This program focused on accelerating the growth and performance of MSMEs, propelling them towards global competitiveness and contributing significantly to the social well-being of the community.

SME Bank takes the lead in fostering export-oriented expansion with the Business Exports Programme (BEP), a meticulously designed intervention initiative funded by the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development (MECD) in partnership with MATRADE. Bolstered by a dedicated fund of RM 30 million, BEP is strategically crafted to elevate the capacity and capability of companies for international exports. Another RM 500 million of Jaguh Serantau Financing in support of the Bumiputera export causes. Furthermore, SME Bank allocates RM 10.5 million to the Vendor Capacity & Capability Development Programme (PPKV) to extend support to Bumiputera vendors in enhancing their competitiveness, sustainability, and resilience.

As part of the 2024 National Budget, an allocation of RM200 million is designated for Dana Kemampanan PMKS Bumiputera to provide additional support to Bumiputera entrepreneurs. This initiative aims to elevate the stature of Bumiputera MSMEs by integrating funding and financing. Through this allocation, Bumiputera entrepreneurs are empowered to expand their businesses and bolster competitiveness in foreign markets.

In its commitment to the development of social enterprises, SME Bank introduced the Social Enterprise Financing Scheme, with an allocation of RM 15 million. This scheme provides financial assistance for Basic and Accredited Social Enterprises recognised by MECD to finance their asset acquisition and/or working capital requirements.

Aligning with its corporate responsibility, SME Bank introduced the iTEKAD Penjana Komuniti and iTEKAD Ishraf Programme, with an allocation of RM 11.3 million. These strategic initiatives aim to bridge the opportunity gap, creating a sustainable economic impact on the livelihoods of B40, Asnaf, and single mothers entrepreneurs by providing essential skills, tools, and support for establishing and maintaining successful businesses. By providing a structured program, SME Bank aims to create competitive and resilient entrepreneurs, uplifting their standard of living and contributing to the community and the nation.

Highlighting the importance of vocational education and training, the Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn. Bhd. (CEDAR), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SME Bank established in 2013, has enriched more than 80,000 programme participants through research-based coaching, function-based facilitation, and entrepreneur-focused mentoring programs.

SME Bank welcomes strategic collaborations to develop more initiatives, reinforcing its dedication to the Bumiputera empowerment agenda and contributing substantially to the nation's economic prosperity. Find out more about SME Bank’s programs and initiatives at www.smebank.com.my, SME Bank Facebook or call SME Bank’s Contact Centre at 603-26037700.