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KUCHING, April 13: Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (Medac), together with the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) have allocated more than RM18 million for programmes and assistance specifically for women and disabled business operators.
Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Dato Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said Medac, via its agencies, has agreed to work with KPWKM, to assist the target groups mainly in post Covid-19 recovery as well as helping them to expand their operations.
He revealed that a total of RM18.2 million has been set aside for the collaboration, which will be used for various programmes, including training, financing assistance and soft loans.
Among the agencies under Medac involved include the National Entrepreneurship Institute (INSKEN), National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund (TEKUN), SME Corp and Perbadanan Nasional Bhd (PNS).
These agencies will develop various programme with agencies under KPWKM namely the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) as well as the welfare department.
He pointed out that women business owners are among those severely affected by the pandemic as most of them are in micro and informal (unregistered) categories and running businesses, that are in the non-essential sectors such as aesthetics, fashion, spa, beauty, event management, wedding planning.
Following the stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs) and the Movement Control Orders (MCO) enforced by the government due to Covid-19, many of those business operators had to close shop and this affected their operations and as well as their livelihood.
“Medac and its agencies are working very hard to provide end-to-end assistance that would significantly contribute not only post-Covid-19 recovery but also to help the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector to thrive.
“This include offering a wide range and services from financing assistance, micro financing, coaching programmes, training and upskilling programmes all of which aimed to produce more competitive, dynamic and resilient entrepreneurs.
“One area that we want to focus on right now is to assist these businesses to go digital.
“Covid-19 has certainly enhance the need for businesses to adopt, adapt and embrace technology. Based on our survey, we find businesses that went digital thrive while those that resist are facing difficulties,” he said in a media statement.
Meanwhile, Wan Junaidi added Medac, via PNS, is also keen to work with KPWKM to identify potential women-owned businesses that could be developed into a homegrown franchise brand.
He explained that franchising is a powerful platform that can help accelerate growth of the SME sector and that PNS, through its various programmes, is able to provide hand holding experience that would ensure the success of those interested to venture into this business.
“Many SMEs are afraid to venture into franchising mainly due to the perception that it requires a high initial capital. Of course, before they start, PNS would evaluate their business and consult them how to go about doing this step by step.
“In addition to this, we also have other agencies within the ministry to provide the necessary support for entrepreneurs in this venture from financing, training, business coaching, consultation and many more.
“Rest assured in Medac, we strive towards creating a conducive eco-system for entrepreneurship to thrive,” he added
Under its five-year plan strategy, PNS is targeting a minimum of 5,000 financing approval to entrepreneurs which is expected to expand the franchise portfolio by 400 per cent from RM178 million to RM700 million.
This is expected to create 18,000 jobs and contribute RM4.4 billion towards the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). — DayakDaily