THE government’s support for the business sector had significantly improved entrepreneurs’ business environment and operations.

A survey done by the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry (Medac) in February 2022 showed that the reopening of the economy had helped businesses get back on their feet.

Medac Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar (centre) said the business sector had been able to achieve better performance with increase in sales value, demand, cashflow and labour requirements, as well as a positive impact on the country’s employment demand.

“So, through the implementation of the National Entrepreneur Week (MUN), we can add value to the development of the business sector and help drive the country’s economic recovery efforts.

“Hopefully, with MUN, the community will better understand and realise that entrepreneurship could contribute a profitable and lucrative income and further contribute to the country’s GDP growth,” he said at the launch of MUN yesterday.

Themed “Entrepreneurs Driving the Nation’s Economy”, MUN will feature a series of activities, including seminars, workshops, information counters, business matching, exhibitions and sales booths consisting of micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and government-linked companies.

Through MUN, Medac has targeted a 45% SME performance for GDP by 2025. 

“SMEs contributed 38.2% of the RM512.8 billion in national GDP in 2020,” Noh said.

He added that MUN would be coordinated as an SME month celebration next year. 

It will be held in all states from mid-May until June 2023, in line with the celebration of International Day for SMEs.

“Knowing the challenges and needs of SMEs during this time, Medac and its agencies have stepped up their efforts to help SMEs get involved in a variety of programmes and funding opportunities.

“For example, for 2022, a total of 145,626 beneficiaries, comprising SMEs and cooperatives, have received financing assistance, including micro-credit financing, entrepreneurship grants and soft loans,” he added.

Noh added that the financing assistance until June 15, 2022, alone has involved financial implications of RM2.28 billion. 

It covers the implementation of schemes and programmes such as the Informal and Micro Financing Scheme under Tekun Nasional, the Ikhtiar Financing Scheme 2022 under Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia, the Micro Financing Scheme for Hawkers and Small Traders under Bank Rakyat and grant programmes financing under SME Corp.

Noh said some application conditions have been simplified and the disbursement of funding has also been expedited. 

He added that for this purpose, there are agencies that are forced to use internal allocations.

Therefore, with positive responses from the entrepreneurs involved, the ministry will seek to obtain additional allocation funds specifically to be channelled to entrepreneurs in need.

Furthermore, there will be award ceremonies in conjunction with MUN, where Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will honour local business owners who have excelled in their businesses.