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SME Bank's iTEKAD ISHRAF programme to create asnaf entrepreneurs

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 (Bernama) -- A total of 400 asnaf (tithe recipients) participants were chosen to join SME Bank’s iTEKAD ISHRAF programme, the third edition this year, to help micro-entrepreneurs strengthen their financial management and business acumen to generate continuous income.

Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick said that there was a drastic increase in programme participants compared to only 79 last year and it was in line with the core values of Malaysia MADANI, which aimed to eradicate poverty under the Unity Government.

The SME Bank's iTEKAD ISHRAF programme completes my ministry’s vision to be a catalyst to the development of B40 and social entrepreneurs in the country.

This initiative is also in line with the ministry’s aspiration to create micro and social entrepreneurs who are not only sustainable but capable of expanding their business to a higher level, he said in his speech at the launch of the programme at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur here today.

He said the programme would hopefully be a pioneer to various other empowerment programmes for social entrepreneurs and the development of the B40 group and asnaf.

I hope the 400 participants selected for the programme this year will not give up easily. You will be determining the future of whether you will switch from being zakat recipients to zakat contributors, Ewon said.

Meanwhile, Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na'im Mokhtar said cooperation between SME Bank, Yayasan Pembangunan Ekonomi Islam Malaysia (YaPEIM) and six strategic partners will hopefully help boost the potential of asnaf in entrepreneurship.

He added that the entrepreneurs will be helped with their products relating to food, drink, clothing, and retail, including car workshops and YaPEIM would also be responsible for guiding them to market their products strategically.

Bernama, 20 March 2023