SEREMBAN, Oct 12 -- A slew of initiatives offered to women entrepreneurs in the 2020 Budget shows that the government is paying particular attention to the group at the same time giving them ample opportunities to be competitive.
Negeri Sembilan Women's Affairs, Family and Welfare Committee chairman Nicole Tan Lee Koon said the RM500 million Business Loan Guarantee Scheme and RM200 million allocation for women entrepreneurs announced yesterday were in line with women's aspirations to get fair competition in business.
“This initiative gives an opportunity and space for women to compete fairly in business. Apart from that, studies show that increasing female entrepreneurship will increase gross domestic product, increase global income per person by 20 per cent by 2030 in addition to increasing job opportunities and so on, ”she said when contacted by Bernama here today.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, in tabling the 2020 Budget in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, announced the RM500 million guarantee facility for women entrepreneurs under the Business Loan Guarantee Scheme
In addition, to further support new Bumiputera entrepreneurs, SME Bank will introduce two new funds where the government will provide an annual interest subsidy of two per cent to reduce borrowing costs including RM200 million in funding specifically for female entrepreneurs with financing offers of up to RM1 million for each SME.
Meanwhile, a pineapple-based food, cake and pastry entrepreneur Mariam Deborah Isah Philip Bawel, 33, said the schemes and initiatives introduced specifically for female entrepreneurs would enable existing ones to expand their businesses and facilitate those who are new to the business to gain a foothold .
In the meantime, the Johor state government will follow in the footsteps of the federal government to focus more on women, in the 2020 State Budget to be tabled next month.
State Women and Tourism Development Committee chairman Liow Cai Tung in a statement today said the move was taken, as they also wanted women to remain in employment.
“Besides that, it is in line with the state government's mother-friendly workplace initiative which is a programme to set up breastfeeding rooms at workplaces, to facilitate working mothers pumping and breastfeeding during work,” she said in response to the initiative announced by the government in Budget 2020, yesterday.
Among other initiatives, the government will allocate an additional RM30 million to provide more child nurseries (TASKAs), especially in hospitals and schools,
Meanwhile, on the RM85 million allocation given by the federal government to reduce congestion on the Johor Causeway, Liow said it was the right step towards launching Visit Johor Year 2020.