KUALA LUMPUR (April 13): The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (Medac), together with the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM) has allocated more than RM18 million for programmes and assistance for women and disabled business operators.
In a statement today, Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said Medac, via its agencies such as the National Entrepreneurship Institute (Insken), Tabung Ekonomi Kumpulan Usaha Niaga (Tekun), SME Corp and Perbadanan Nasional Bhd (PNS), has agreed to work with KPWKM to assist the target groups, mainly in post-Covid-19 recovery and in expanding their operations.
He said women business owners are among those severely affected by the pandemic as most of them are in the micro and informal (unregistered) categories, and running businesses that are in the non-essential sectors such as aesthetics, fashion, spa, beauty, event management and wedding planning.
“Medac and its agencies are working very hard to provide end-to-end assistance that would significantly contribute not only to post-Covid-19 recovery but also to help the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector to thrive.
“This includes offering a wide range and services from financing assistance, microfinancing, coaching, training and upskilling programmes, which aims to produce more competitive, dynamic and resilient entrepreneurs,” he said.
Wan Junaidi added that Medac is currently focusing on assisting businesses in going digital.
“Covid has certainly increased the need for businesses to adopt, adapt and embrace technology. Based on our survey, we find that businesses that have gone digital have thrived, while those that resisted are facing difficulties,” he added.
Meanwhile, he said that Medac is also keen to work with KPWKM via PNS to identify women-owned businesses that have the potential to be developed into homegrown franchise brands.
“Many SMEs are afraid to venture into franchising mainly due to the perception that it requires high initial capital,” he said, adding that PNS will help them in evaluating their business and advice them on how to take their business further.
Under its five-year plan, PNS aims to achieve a minimum of 5,000 financing approvals for entrepreneurs, which is expected to expand the franchise portfolio to RM700 million, create 18,000 jobs and contribute RM4.4 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product. – Bernama