Image credit: The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDC) has entrusted the Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn Bhd (CEDAR) to lead entrepreneurial capacity development programmes with a total fund worth RM11.5 million.

CEDAR is a unit of the Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank (M) Bhd (SME Bank).

MEDC Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick said the RM11.5 million allocation for this year includes a sustainability incentive scheme (Skim Insentif Kelestarian) worth RM10 million; a capacity development programme for entrepreneurs in the halal industry (Program Pembangunan Kapasiti Usahawan Industri Halal) worth RM400,000 to assist compliance in halal certification; an intellectual property enhancing and registration pilot programme (Program Rintis Pemantapan dan Pendaftaran Harta Intelek) with a fund of RM100,000, and a sustainable champions scheme (Skim Juara Lestari) amounting to RM1 million.

Ewon said the ministry recognises that the facilities and services provided by CEDAR are greatly needed in driving achievements for this sector.

“SME Bank’s continuous efforts to further develop micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through CEDAR is a testimony that the bank is aware and concerned of the needs of entrepreneurs, apart from obtaining financing,” he told reporters after launching the Social Enterprise Development Programme here today, which coincides with CEDAR’s 10th-anniversary celebrations.

Ewon said during the Budget 2023 announcement, a total of RM21 million was entrusted to SME Bank specifically to support the development of social enterprises (SE).

He said the Malaysia Social Entrepreneurship Blueprint 2030 (SEMy2030) had been introduced as a reference and the government wanted to ensure that social entrepreneurship was not just a business trend adapted to current factors.

“The uniqueness of this SE is that their business return angle aims to have a positive impact on social issues and bring financial results at the same time,” he said.

Ewon said Malaysia should normalise and mainstream SEs by providing support such as funding, accreditation and upskilling programme.

“I hope that the government’s aspirations to empower MSMEs, including SEs, are well communicated through close cooperation and ongoing initiatives between MECD and its agencies.

“It is important that the positive impact and values driven by SEs are well communicated to the general public, financiers, and investors, providing confidence for them to further support the growth of SEs,” he said.

Ewon also stated that MECD has currently recorded 511 registered SEs, where 59 of which are under the Accredited SE category and the remaining are registered under the SE Basic category.

Through SEMy2030, the government aims to reach a total of 5,000 registered SEs by 2025 and provide accreditation to 20 per cent of this total.

CEDAR was established in 2013 with the vision to be the centre of excellence for entrepreneur development and transformation.

It has supported SME Bank’s financing aspirations and also enriched more than 75,000 programme participants through 460 research-based coaching, function-based facilitation, and entrepreneur-focused mentoring programmes since its inception.