KUALA LUMPUR: 2 March 2023 – SME Bank is set to empower social enterprises and sustainable business for MSMEs following the announcement of Budget 2023: Building Malaysia MADANI, which consists of three new programmes amounting to RM31 million. The Government also re-announced RM1.34 billion for existing financing facilities and an additional RM9 million for other current entrepreneur programmes under SME Bank.
Datuk Wira (Dr.) Aria Putera Ismail, Group President / Chief Executive Officer SME Bank said, "SME Bank gratefully welcomes the Government’s allocation for the MSME sector in Budget 2023 which is also in line with SME Bank’s business focus in empowering Social Enterprises and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) adoption among MSMEs for this year. Under the Social Enterprise Financing Scheme to develop and strengthen social enterprises, RM20 million is provided for working capital and asset purchases. Meanwhile, RM1.0 million is allocated under the Juara Lestari Scheme, a capacity development programme intended to increase the number of basic and accredited social enterprises, through SME Bank's subsidiary, Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn. Bhd. (CEDAR).”
"In addition to social enterprises, SME Bank will also be focusing on facilitating the adoption of ESG principles among MSME entrepreneurs through the RM10 million Sustainability Incentive Scheme. This facility is in line with the Government's sustainability agenda in the 12th Malaysia Plan to transition towards a low-carbon economy and building a sustainable business environment," concluded Datuk Wira Aria.
The Sustainability Incentive Scheme is a structured intervention programme with grants to support entrepreneurs in adopting ESG in their business operations. The MSME sector needs to quickly move towards the sustainability agenda to expand its business network and obtain financial assistance that emphasises ESG aspects.
Six of the SME Bank’s existing financing assistance were also re-announced to enable the Bank to continue to offer holistic financing programmes for the MSMEs. They include Jaguh Serantau (RM165 million), Dana Kemampanan PMKS Bumiputera (Lestari Bumi Financing), (RM160 million), Dana Pemantapan Automasi (PEMERKASA Matching Grant) (RM160 million), Dana Pemangkin Ekosistem IBS (IBS2.0) (RM165 million), Dana Pemberdayaan Usahawan Muda (YEF 2.0) (RM90 million) and the SME Recapitalisation Fund (RM600 million). SME Bank shall continue to offer financing facilities re-announced under the Budget 2023 to eligible entrepreneurs.
Along with the newly announced financing facilities and capacity development programmes, SME Bank also obtained additional funds for existing beyond-financing initiatives which includes RM4 million for the Business Exports Programme to empower Bumiputera MSMEs beyond borders and RM5 million for the Vendor Capacity Development Programme (PPKV2.0) in supporting vendors to be more competitive, sustainable and resilient.
The Budget 2023 was the largest budget in Malaysian history, with a total amount of RM388.1 billion, aimed for the betterment of the people, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), green initiatives, and the advancement of digital technology. MSMEs interested in the financial facilities and entrepreneurial training programmes provided by SME Bank can contact the Bank's Customer Call Centre at 03-26037700 or visit the official website at www.smebank.com.my.