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SME Bank ISHRAF 2.0 Programme Participants Successfully Recorded Cumulative Sales of RM3.6 Million

KUALA LUMPUR : 21 December 2022

SME Bank Asnaf Entrepreneurship Programme or ISHRAF 2.0 has shown results when 79 participants successfully recorded cumulative sales of RM3.6 million until the third quarter of 2022. The ISHRAF 2.0 programme which started in November 2021 is a continuation of ISHRAF 1.0, aimed to improve the living standards of Asnaf and micro entrepreneurs who have been severely affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (KUSKOP), YB Datuk Ewon Benedick said, “Looking at this encouraging achievement, KUSKOP fully supports initiatives such as the ISHRAF 2.0 Programme and urges its agencies to continue organising similar programmes so that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (PMKS) can continue to actively revitalise the national economy. The ISHRAF 2.0 programme organised by SME Bank not only provides opportunities for Asnaf and micro entrepreneurs but also changes the socioeconomics of the Asnaf group in Malaysia.”

Datuk Ewon added, “SME Bank's move to collaborate with other Government agencies is an efficient step in sharing of resources and managing funds. SME Bank has allocated a Zakat fund of RM600,000. while strategic partners, Yayasan Pembangunan Ekonomi Ekonomi Malaysia (YaPEIM) and SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp.) have each allocated funds amounting RM284,400.00 and RM190,000.00 respectively. The addition of funds allows the ISHRAF 2.0 Programme to benefit more Asnaf entrepreneurs in six states namely Perlis, Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Sabah and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur compared to the ISHRAF 1.0 edition which only focused on entrepreneurs in Selangor.”

Group President / Chief Executive Officer SME Bank, Datuk Wira (Dr.) Aria Putera Ismail commented, “The five best ISHRAF 2.0 Programme participants have recorded an average sales of RM22,000.00 per month. Overall, the participants have recorded a positive increase in sales with an average sale of RM5,100.00 per month since joining the ISHRAF 2.0 Programme compared to RM3,300.00 per month previously.”

Datuk Wira Aria said, “To ensure that the ISHRAF 2.0 Programme has a long-term impact on the participants, the Bank has set four key performance indicators (KPIs) namely increased sales revenue, number of employees, technology adaptation and market improvement or new products.”

"We want the participants to achieve these four KPIs because these are the indicators used by real entrepreneurs out there to measure their business performance levels. Therefore, we hope that the ISHRAF Programme 2.0 participants can apply it in their business management so that they can remove themselves from the Asnaf status and take their business to greater heights," added Datuk Wira Aria.

Among the success story of ISHRAF 2.0 participants is Shazzuan Shah Mohd Salleh, who managed to increase his average sales by almost 147% amounting to RM17,000.00 per month compared to RM6,900.00 before joining this programme. Utilising the ISHRAF 2.0 seed capital of RM10,000.00, he has moved to a more strategic location and expanded his market through digital applications thus increasing his sales.

The ISHRAF 2.0 Programme is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) namely the 1 st Goal of no poverty, the 8 th Goal of creating suitable jobs and economic growth and the 10 th Goal of reducing inequality within the country and among country. This two- pronged initiative is also subject to SME Bank's Three-Year Sustainability Roadmap 2021-2023 which applies Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) aspects in SME Bank's operations.

All ISHRAF 2.0 participants attended a three-day, two-night entrepreneurship training programme as well as undergo three face-to-face business coaching sessions with mentors throughout the implementation of the ISHRAF 2.0 programme. Among the topics covered by the participants included the preparation of business plans/models, digital marketing and financial management which was conducted by the Center for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn. Bhd. (CEDAR), a wholly owned subsidiary of SME Bank.

The first edition of the ISHRAF Programme won the Merit Award for the Best Development Project from the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP) in 2021. For more information about the ISHRAF Programme and other SME Bank’s entrepreneur development programmes, kindly visit the official website www.smebank.com.my, SME Bank Facebook or contact the Bank’s Contact Centre at 603-26037700.