SME Bank, Tekun Nasional win international recognition

KUALA LUMPUR: The small and medium enterprises (SME) development initiatives under SME Bank and Tekun Nasional, two agencies under the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC), have gained international recognition from the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP).

SME Bank won two merit awards for Best Development Project for its ISHRAF programme and Best Corporate Social Responsibility Project for the Penjana Komuniti@SME Bank Programme while Tekun Nasional also received two Outstanding Development Project Awards for Tekun Mart and Tekun Mobilepreneur projects.

MEDAC minister Tan Sri Noh Omar said the SME Bank’s initiatives, which benefited 240 microentrepreneurs in the B40 category and asnafs, and Tekun Nasional’s programme, which benefited 3,202 microentrepreneurs with a financing value of RM27.2 million, were a manifestation of the Malaysian Family concept that the government is currently striving for.

“No one should be left behind, and we want to see all entrepreneurs benefit from the various programmes and assistance provided during this recovery process,” he said in a statement today.

Meanwhile, SME Bank group president and chief executive officer Aria Putera Ismail said the Penjana Komuniti@SME Bank and ISHRAF programmes had helped participants to strengthen their resilience and ease business operating pressures from the closure of economic activities in the past year.

“The emphasis on using digital methods to expand the participants’ business has given them a lifeline to help them continue and grow their business,” he said.

Tekun Nasional managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Adam Abd Ghani said the implementation of the Tekun Mobilepreneur Financing Scheme was an effort to create income-generating opportunities for those who had lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 outbreak by becoming gig workers or riders for companies involved in delivery of food, goods and daily needs.

Meanwhile, he said Tekun Mart provided a platform for microentrepreneurs to market their products.

Established in 1976, ADFIAP is an association of development and financing institutions in the Asia-Pacific region with 87 member institutions in 36 countries.

The awards were presented at the 44th ADFIAP annual meeting, which was held on Oct 27-28 in a hybrid manner with the theme “Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) and Post-Pandemic Opportunities and Thrusts”, focused on efforts made by DFIs to help SMEs be competitive following the Covid-19 pandemic.-Bernama