SME Bank To Empower Social Enterprises, ESG Adoption Among MSMEs

SME Bank will empower micro, small and medium enterprises’ (MSMEs) social enterprises and sustainable business efforts following the recent Budget 2023 announcement, with the introduction of three new programmes worth RM31 million. 

In addition to the existing financing facilities valued at RM1.34 billion, the government has announced an additional RM9 million for the current entrepreneur programmes under SME Bank.

SME Bank Group President and CEO, Datuk Wira Dr Aria Putera Ismail said SME Bank welcomes the government allocation for the MSME sector in Budget 2023, which is in line with SME Bank’s focus on empowering social enterprises and environmental, social and governance (ESG) adoption among MSMEs this year.

“A total of RM20 million has been allocated under the Social Enterprise Financing Scheme which is for social enterprise development and improvement through working capital and asset purchase.

“Meanwhile, RM1 million will also be provided under the ‘Juara Lestari Scheme’, a capacity building programme aimed at boosting the number of accredited social enterprises through SME Bank’s subsidiary Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn Bhd (Cedar),” he said in a statement today.

Besides social enterprises, he said, SME Bank also focuses on facilitating MSME entrepreneurs in applying ESG principles through the RM10 million Sustainability Incentive Scheme.

“The facility is in line with the government’s sustainability agenda under the 12th Malaysia Plan towards becoming a low-carbon economy and the development of a sustainable business environment,” he added.

The Sustainability Incentive Scheme is a structured intervention programme that provides grants to support enterprises in applying ESG in their business operations.

Aria said six of the existing financing facilities have been announced again in Budget 2023 to enable the bank to offer holistic financing for MSMEs.

These include Jaguh Serantau (RM165 million), Dana Kemampanan PMKS Bumiputera (Lestari Bumi Financing) (RM160 million), Dana Pemantapan Automasi (PEMERKASA Matching Grant) (RM160 million), Dana Pemangkin Ekosistem IBS (IBS2.0) (RM165 million), Dana Pemberdayaan Usahawan Muda (YEF 2.0) (RM90 million) and SME Recapitalisation Fund (RM600 million).

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