PUTATAN: Sabah Ekonomi Kumpulan Usaha Niaga (Tekun) Nasional has set a target of attracting at least 2,800 entrepreneurs this year, involving loans amounting to RM27 million.
“To date, at least 60 per cent of the target has been met and it covers the whole of Sabah,” said Sabah Tekun manager Hemin Osumping.
Speaking to reporters after accompanying Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin to meet entrepreneurs who have benefited from Tekun’s financial assistance here yesterday, Hemin said they are working hard to ensure new applications are processed fast.
He said every application will be screened before it is approved.
“Although there is a screening process, we hope that it would not deter people from applying.
“All eligible applicants will have their applications approved as fast as possible,” he said.
Since Tekun was introduced in Sabah in 1999, they have recorded some 16,900 borrowers, and the number keeps increasing yearly.
“Apart from offering financial assistance, we also organise business management courses, including those on how to manage your money.
“This is to ensure participants would be able to manage their finances well and repay their loans,” he said, adding that they have planned a series of courses for both potential and existing entrepreneurs this year.
Hemin said action will be taken against those who fail to pay their loans.
“We will issue them with a warning letter, and legal action will be taken against those who fail to pay their loans.
“However, if the entrepreneur has shut down, we will meet up with them and discuss the best way to repay the loans, which does not burden them,” he said.
He said Tekun offers a minimum loan of RM500 to a maximum of RM50,000 for any business, such as sundry shops, contract, agriculture and services.
Hemin said Kudat and Kota Marudu records the highest number of applicants at over 1,000, while Labuan is the lowest at 200.
He described the Sabah entrepreneurs as “open minded” and “willing to take up challenges”.