There are over 14,000 cooperative in the country with over 6.5 million members, many of the members are involved in small micro business and some in the informal sector. However, when the pandemic a large portion of this group either lost their income or had to close down due to various reasons, leaving these cooperative’s struggling to keep going and assisting members.
Their plight has been noted and raised since last year by various groups including the Ministry they fall under, MEDAC which has been holding discussions with the cooperatives and has come with a massive financial support to keep the system functioning and help these entrepreneurs.
Under a new financial plan, the Ministry together with Malaysia Co-operative Societies Commission has allocated RM230 million that will distributed to 5 different models that will cater for the different needs of the groups. For instance the Micro Coop Financing facility will be funding 50 cooperatives with a maximum amount of RM100,000 to assist enterprises with less that RM200,000 annual turnover. The Lestari Financing is to elevate 106 cooperatives in the rural area which has been identified under the Program Desa Lestari. Startup Financing is for the 936 newly registered ones, they can use the funds to accelerate their initiatives and projects. To keep the ecosystem of cooperatives active and competitive, Best 100 Financing was created for this reason, its to incentivise the best performers with access to funds. Lastly is the Good Paymaster Financing, as the name suggest its for those who have been remitting their payments on schedule and attain a good reputation for themselves.
According to Entrepreneur and Development Minister, Dr Wan Junaidi the new facilities are designed to assist these cooperatives that in turn can help micro businesses to scale and become larger entities where they can get bigger funding from the Ministry.