SME Bank launches XCESS 2021 programme to assist SME entrepreneurs

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KUCHING, July 26: More than 1,000 small and medium enterprise (SME) entrepreneurs whose businesses have been affected by the movement control orders since the beginning of Covid-19 pandemic have been given the opportunity to revive their businesses and explore the potentials to expand their markets through the SME Bank XCESS 2021 Programme.

The inaugural programme which was held virtually is the largest national level business matching platform organised by SME Bank.

Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar who launched the programme online in a statement said, “This SME Bank XCESS Programme is a ‘flagship programme’ by SME Bank in fulfilling its role as a Development Financial Institution (DFI) that not only provides financing but also implementing various initiatives that go beyond financing.

“I see the SME Bank XCESS Programme as SME Bank’s key initiative in supporting the Government’s efforts to accelerate the recovery and development process of our SME sector,” said Wan Junaidi.

Adding on, SME Bank’s group president or chief executive officer (CEO) Aria Putera Ismail said, “Overall, we have totally changed the format of the 2021 edition of SME Bank XCESS from what we have organised before.

“This time, the concept of “Beyond Financing” is translated through four main pillars, namely business matching, vendor development programme, umbrella programme and financing equity or private equity.”

He said a total of 20 anchor companies were involved in this programme as SME Bank’s strategic partners.

“For business matching there are hypermarkets such as AEON, Lulu Hypermarket and Lesong Mart.

“For the umbrella programme, we have participation from companies such as Ramly Food Processing, KARA Holdings (Ayamas),, Chatime, Prowheels and Petro Teguh.

“As for the vendor development programme, companies such as Pharmaniaga, Tenaga Nasional, Sime Darby Property, Malaysia Airlines, Telekom Malaysia, Boustead Heavy Industries, Duopharma Biotech, Celcom Axiata, UMW Corporation and UEM Edgenta participated in the event.

“While for financing equity or private equity, companies such as MTDC, PERNAS, MAVCAP, Malaysia Debt Venture, Perdana Capital Group, Cradle Fund, Aeon Credit Services, COPE Private Equity and Northern Corridor Implementation Authority offered financing alternatives such as grants and investments.

“We are expecting 20 entrepreneurs to be successfully matched with anchor companies through this SME Bank XCESS 2021 Programme.

“We strongly believe achieving this target will create a huge impact on the business ecosystems of these companies,” added Aria.

Looking at the response received on the national level event, SME Bank is confident that the objectives of organising SME Bank XCESS 2021, which include market expansion, providing access to financing and sharing the latest information on products and services for SME entrepreneurs will be achieved.

Meanwhile, despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, SME Bank remains active in organising online networking sessions with customers and SME entrepreneurs.

Since January 2021, a total of 75 networking sessions involving more than 1,300 SME entrepreneurs have been organised and these activities will continue. — DayakDaily