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SME Bank Celebrates CEDAR’s 10th Anniversary, Launches Social Enterprise Development Programme

KUALA LUMPUR : 20 June 2023

Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia Berhad (“SME Bank”) today celebrated the 10th Anniversary of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn. Bhd. (“CEDAR”), with the official launching of its Social Enterprise Development Program which consists of two initiatives from the 2023 Budget amounting to RM21 million.

Minister of Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development (MECD), YB Datuk Ewon Benedick said, “SME Bank’s continuous efforts to further develop the MSMEs entrepreneurs through CEDAR is a testimony that SME Bank is aware and concerned of the needs of entrepreneurs, apart from obtaining financing. MECD recognises that the facilities and services provided by CEDAR are greatly needed in driving the achievements of this sector. With that, it gives me great pleasure to share that MECD has entrusted CEDAR to lead several entrepreneurial capacity development programs for the year 2023 with a total fund worth RM11.5 million.”

Group President / Chief Executive Officer SME Bank, Datuk Wira (Dr.) Aria Putera Ismail said, “CEDAR was established in 2013 with the vision to be the centre of excellence for entrepreneur development and transformation. CEDAR has since supported SME Bank’s beyond financing aspirations and has enriched more than 75,000 programme participants through 460 research-based coaching, function-based facilitation, and entrepreneur-focused mentoring programme since its inception.”

Commenting on the newly launched initiatives specially for the development of social enterprises (SE), YB Datuk Ewon added, “It is time for us to normalise and mainstream the SEs by providing support such as funding, accreditation, and upskilling programme. I hope that the Government’s  aspirations to empower MSMEs including social enterprises is well communicated through close cooperation and ongoing initiatives between MECD and its agencies. It is important that the positive impact and values driven by SEs are well communicated to the general public, financiers, and investors, providing confidence for them to further support the growth of SEs.”

He also stated that MECD has currently recorded 511 registered SEs, where 59 of which are under the Accredited SE category and the remaining are registered under the SE Basic category. Through SEMy2030, the Government aims to reach a total of 5,000 registered SE enterprises by 2025 and 20% of this total registration to be accredited.

Datuk Wira Aria further enlightened that the government has allocated a total fund of RM20 million to SME Bank for its Social Enterprise Financing Scheme, which provides financial assistance for Basic Social Enterprises and Accredited Social Enterprises recognised by MECD to finance their asset acquisition and/or working capital requirements. CEDAR will also take on a capacity-building program to support the accreditation of social enterprises through the Juara Lestari Scheme with a fund allocation of RM1 million.

Also present at the anniversary celebration was the Secretary-General of MECD, YBhg. Dato’ Sri Suriani Dato' Ahmad and the Deputy Secretary-General (Policy and Monitoring) of MECD, Puan Noor Afifah binti Abdul Razak.

MSMEs and social enterprises interested to found out more about the SME Bank Social Enterprise Development Programme as well as other entrepreneurial financing and training programmes provided by SME Bank and CEDAR can contact the Bank's Customer Call Centre at 03-26037700 or visit the official website at www.smebank.com.my or www.cedar.my