News & Events

[ 20-03-2013 ]
SME Bank targets 700 more young entrepreneurs, plans to finish giving out RM50mil govt fund by Sept

 JOHOR BARU: SME Bank Bhd hopes to finish disbursing the RM50mil allocation from the Government for the Young Entrepreneur Fund (YEF) by September to 700 recipients nationwide.

Vice-president and head of priority banking Abd Karim Ahmad said it had received 42 applications for the scheme as of to date and would disburse RM5mil to them.

He said that by April, the bank targeted to receive another 100 applications for the YEF and it would disburse RM15mil to the young entrepreneurs.

“We are hoping that the Government will allocate more budget for the YEF under Budget 2014,'' Abd Karim told StarBiz at the final leg of the SME Bank entrepreneur funding scheme roadshow.

SME Bank will open two new branches this year in Johor – one each in Batu Pahat and Pasir Gudang – in May and June respectively SME Bank will open two new branches this year in Johor – one each in Batu Pahat and Pasir Gudang – in May and June respectively

Similar event was held in Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Miri, Kota Kinabalu and Kota Baru, focusing on the YEF and the SME Development Scheme (SDS) for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and young entrepreneurs.

The YEF is specially tailored for young entrepreneurs aged between 18 years and 30 years who plan to start or already run a business.

Each eligible applicant will receive up to RM100,000 as a start-up capital or working expenditure and has seven years to service the loan.

“We hope young enterprising people who want to start businesses to fully utilise the financial assistance given by the Government to them,'' said Abd Karim.

He said the main objective of the scheme was to assist young entrepreneurs who were not qualified to borrow money from commercial banks or other Government-related funding schemes.

Separately, SME Bank would open two new branches this year in Johor one each in Batu Pahat and Pasir Gudang in May and June respectively.

This will bring the number of its branches in the state to three.

South Johor SME Association chairman Teh Kee Sin said with the YEF and SDS schemes, there were no reasons for young entrepreneurs and SMEs to get loans from unlicensed money lenders.

“There are many Government-initiated schemes to assist our SMEs and they should take advantage of the schemes for their own benefits,'' he said.

Teh, who is also SMI Association of Malaysia national president, said the Government was now becoming more pro-active, adding that unlike before, it was now less hassle for SMEs to get loans.

He said the YEF scheme would also open doors of opportunities for young graduates to start business.

“My advice to first timers (young entrepreneurs) who have succeeded in getting the loan to honour the contract and pay your installments on time,'' said Teh.

He said they should be a responsible borrower as their act of not paying the loans on time or not servicing the loans at all was tantamount to denying other eligible applicants from getting the financial assistance.

Teh said young entrepreneurs and SMEs must have the mission and vision of making profits when venturing into businesses and able to expand over time.

“If you think you cannot do it, then don't do it, as doing business is challenging and not as easy as one might think but the reward is good,'' he said.