11/12/2023 02:52 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 (Bernama) -- The government has disbursed funds totalling RM5.19 billion to 292,530 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and cooperatives up to November 2023 to support those still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Saraswathy Kandasami said the funds were disbursed through the Tekun Niaga Financing Scheme, Ikhtiar Financing Scheme and Bank Rakyat's MSME financing.

She said the government, through the relevant ministries, would continue to implement capacity-building programmes as well as offering facilitation and entrepreneurial support for MSMEs, including cooperatives that are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deputy minister said 45,014 entrepreneurs have undergone programmes such as the Institut Keusahawanan Negara Bhd (INSKEN) Business Training, Perbadanan Nasional Bhd's (Pernas) Business In Transformation and SME Corporation Malaysia's Micro Entrepreneur Business Development (BizMe) programmes.

“The  Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives  (KUSKOP) increased the provision of business premises and space as well as opportunities to penetrate both domestic and international markets for 3,025 entrepreneurs through programmes such as the UDA Holdings Bhd's Entrepreneur Incentive Programme and SME Bank's Business Exports Programme,” she told the Dewan Negara today.

Saraswathy was responding to a question from Senator Datuk Shamsuddin Abd Ghaffar on the government's progress in reviving entrepreneurs adversely affected by the COVID19 pandemic.

“KUSKOP has also collaborated with the Credit Counselling and Management Agency (AKPK) to implement the Second Chance Intervention Programme to assist entrepreneurs facing serious financial difficulties and risk of bankruptcy,” she said.

Saraswathy said that in 2022, 664 entrepreneurs were apprised of the availability of second chances through various government initiatives.

“Of this total, 40 entrepreneurs were selected to participate in INSKEN's four-month Special Guidance Programme,” she added.


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