3 entities to oversee SMEs and increase SME contribution to M'sian economy

3 entities to oversee SMEs and increase SME contribution to M'sian economy

PETALING JAYA - Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country will have three entities overseeing their development.

Top of the list is the establishment of the National SME Business Advisory Panel (SBAP) as announced in the middle of this year by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to provide relevant input and formulate entrepreneurship strategies to create world-class SMEs.

SME Corp chief executive officer Datuk Hafsah Hashim said the setting up of the panel was in tandem with the country's aspiration to increase the contribution of SMEs to the country's economy.

"The advisory panel to the Government comprises successful entrepreneurs, business leaders and subject matter experts both local and international. They are not necessarily well-known, but have an excellent track record and the time to serve on the panel," she told StarBiz.

The second entity, the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), which was announced during the recent 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit, is to ensure that entrepreneurship development is comprehensive, especially in terms of innovation and creativity.

"We foresee that all elements pertaining to the development of competitive, resilient and sustainable entrepreneurs would be in place with MaGIC," she said.

The centre, which received an allocation of RM50mil from Budget 2014, also aims to support companies involved in creative multimedia, research and development and data management.

"SME Corp would be involved in the formulation of policy, entrepreneur development and marketing among the six pillars of MaGIC. Through these involvements, the creation of MaGIC would certainly complement the roles and functions of SME Corp," she said.

The six pillars of MaGIC includes policy formulation, funding, regulatory affairs, development of entrepreneurs, marketing and providing facilities.

On the National Entrepreneur Development Office (NEDO) announced in Budget 2014, meanwhile, she said it was premature to elaborate on the announcement.

"The expected impact of the establishment of NEDO is that it would ensure that all programmes and activities related to entrepreneurship would be monitored and coordinated in a very systematic, efficient and effective manner," she said.

NEDO will be established under the Finance Ministry's National Strategy Unit, which will plan and coordinate all activities related to entrepreneurship.

When asked if there would be duplication of functions, Hafsah said while MaGIC worked on creating new innovative and creative entrepreneurs, SME Corp and other relevant ministries and agencies would assist these entrepreneurs to become successful and sustainable businesses.

"In general, the SBAP would not be overlapping with NEDO and MaGIC, as the other two organisations would be playing the execution role rather than the advisory role. Apart from that, NEDO would consist of Government officials, whereby MaGIC would be registered as a company under the Companies Act," she elaborated.

Another initiative announced in the budget for SMEs is an RM300mil allocation to provide loans to bumiputra companies to take over listed companies or companies with potential to be listed on Bursa Malaysia.

SME Bank will establish the Bumiputra Equity Fund or EquiBumi.

"It is an expansion of the existing Bumiputra Financing Fund to support bumiputra equity ownership in the divestment in identified non-core activities of government-linked companies," she said.

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