KUALA LUMPUR: The government’s decision to allocate more funds into alternative financing will further support the needs of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who are underserved by traditional financial institutions and open up opportunities for businesses who have been adversely impacted by Covid-19.

Funding Societies Malaysia co-founder and chief executive officer Wong Kah Meng lauded the allocation of RM80 million through Malaysia Co-Investment Fund to support alternative financing including equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer financing under Budget 2022.

“The budget tabled will spur the economic development of the country and give a much-needed boost to Malaysia’s MSMEs, many of whom have been struggling to get back on their feet,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Moving forward, Ata Plus Sdn Bhd chief executive officer and co-founder Elain Lockman hopes that this will encourage the participation of larger SMEs and give them a feasible alternative funding channel.

“In looking at the trends and the current SME financing needs, it is highly likely that the crowdfunding market would continue to flourish in 2022,” she said.

On the innovation and allocation of RM45mil for Industry4WRD, Wong said the quest to shape the future with the value proposition on Industry 4.0 is crucial for many MSMEs to adapt as their businesses are now competing in the global marketplace during the pandemic.

“Besides ensuring the availability of various financing schemes and initiatives, we need to also have a strong technological and innovation infrastructure as well as local businesses that are ready to market globally through Industry 4.0 and the Digital Economy,” he said.

Meanwhile Hitachi Vantara Asean vice-president and general manager Joe Ong said the allocation of RM200 million for SMEs’ digitalisation grants and RM45 million for Industry4WRD among SMEs áre welcome.

“SMEs need to be equipped with technologies to embrace cloud adoption and enhance cybersecurity in the process of digital transformation,” he added.