The long-awaited Small-and-Medium Enterprise (SME) and Entrepreneurs Business Award 2020 (SEBA 2020) took place last night and unveiled this year’s best entrepreneurs and SMEs in a gala dinner to remember. The event saw 210 guests taken on an experiential ‘world tour’ spanning five continents, filled with an extraordinary virtual simulation through immersive 3D animation technology and state-of-the-art effects.
Among those in attendance were the Minister for Entrepreneurship Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC), YB Dato’ Sri Dr Haji Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar to officiate the event, along with Datuk Haji Abd Rani Lebai Jaafar (Chairman of Bank Rakyat), Dato’ Syed Abdul Aziz Syed Hassan (Acting Chief Executive Officer), Mr Aria Putera Ismail (CEO of SME Bank), Mr Rizal Nainy (CEO of SME Corp), Mr Shah Nawaz Asan Gany (Head of Tenaga Nasional Berhad Group Corporate Communications) and the esteemed Advisory Board Members.
Cordially held at Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur with the theme of “The SEBA Go Grand Getaway”, a total of 55 prestigious awards were presented to various SMEs and entrepreneurs spanning multiple industries, such as Technology, F&B, Automotive, Agriculture, Beauty, and Pharmaceutical, among others during the gala dinner.
SEBA 2020 is organised by Yayasan Usahawan Malaysia in collaboration with Malaysia Airlines, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Bank Rakyat, among many more supporting organisations in celebrating Malaysia’s most eminent SMEs and Entrepreneurs.
It is also supported by the Ministry of Entrepreneurship Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC), with the Minister, YB Dato’ Sri Dr Haji Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar in attendance. During his speech, YB Dato’ Sri Dr Haji Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar said, “When it comes to jobs, let entrepreneurship be the first choice, not employment. But knowing how challenging it is to be an entrepreneur, especially so in today’s post Covid-19 era, MEDAC together with our agencies are working extra hard to help establish a conducive ecosystem for entrepreneurship in Malaysia to thrive. Our main goal is to produce 100 millionaires a year from a pool of home grown entrepreneurs.”
“We have been tasked by the Prime Minister with the big mandate to look after the SMEs, particularly the micro and informal businesses, those severely affected by the Covid-19 situation. We try to provide an end-to-end solution for entrepreneurs – from the informal and micro categories, right up to those who are in the high tech, high capital categories. Regardless of which category you are in, when you come and see us, we will provide you with holistic guidance. We make sure when you come to us, we will support you, monitor your progress and ensure you will attain success,” he added.
This year, the awardees were taken on a night full of extravagant senses, and simulations with a one-of-a-kind inflight theme – among them are the Technopreneur of the Year, Carsome Malaysia’s Eric Chang and Teoh Jiun Ee, Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Spirit of 57’s Syed Sadiq Albar, Celebrity Entrepreneur of the Year, Bubblebee’s Shahmira Muhamad (Shuib Sepahtu) and Entrepreneur of the Year, Aerodyne Group’s Kamarul A Muhamed.
“The Movement Control Order (MCO) has been a really tough time for everyone, and a lot of Malaysian SMEs and businesses were hit hard by the pandemic. However, we have seen many of these resilient enterprises bounce back stronger, and some even saw growth amid unpredictable times. This year’s celebration is to celebrate these SMEs and the entrepreneurs who managed to steer their business towards recovery and further growth, “ said Nitesh Malani, Chairman of Yayasan Usahawan Malaysia.
“I’m glad that we are able to start the year on a positive note by celebrating these successes tonight. 2020 was a challenging year for everyone, but the winners have shown that even during tough times, there are still opportunities for greatness and excellence,” said Lyndia Wong, Chairperson of SEBA 2020.
SEBA is an impartial, independent and objective business recognition that has uncovered and recognised deserving small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), Enterprises and Entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia. It aims to provide entrepreneurs with a solid platform for recognition, networking and continuous growth and seeks out exemplary companies and entrepreneurs that excel in their industry in the area of business strategy, growth metrics and best practices. The nominees undergo a strict 8-phase qualifying and verification framework by SEBA’s research committees and Board of Advisors.