KOTA BHARU, 14 June 2015: More than 1,200 Bumiputera micro entrepreneurs and Small-and-Medium-sized Entrepreneurs (SME) in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) will benefit from the Federal Government’s Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (TERAJU) Entrepreneur Development Fund amounting RM15 million channelled through the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC).
The ECER Bumiputera Micro Entrepreneurs/SME Development Fund is aimed at helping small and medium-sized entrepreneurs in the Region who are finding difficulty in obtaining conventional bank loans to expand their businesses.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, YB Senator Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid Omar presented the cheque for the RM15 million fund to the Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC, YBhg. Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John during the Official Closing Ceremony of the 1Malaysia Training Scheme (SL1M) Career Programme and Walk-In Interviews here today.
Of the amount, RM10 million will be allocated for the Financial Assistance Scheme via ECERDC’s collaboration with Maybank under the entrepreneur ECER-Maybank programme; RM3 million for the Equipment Acquisition, Infrastructure Works, Packaging and Working Capital Assistance Programme; and RM2 million for the Contract Farming , Satellite Farming and Livestock Breeding Projects Entrepreneur Development Programme.
ECERDC Chief Executive Officer, YBhg. Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John said, the TERAJU@ECER programme implemented by ECERDC in collaboration with TERAJU has benefited 123 Bumiputera companies in ECER to date. These include 73 Bumiputera firms identified as High Performance Bumiputera Companies (TeraS), who have received TeraS funds amounting to RM72.7 million in total, and 50 companies who have benefited from the TERAJU Facilitation Fund totalling RM131 million with investments worth RM1.03 billion in total.
“The TERAJU@ECER initiative implemented by ECERDC is in line with the Government’s Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Agenda, and we are very pleased that it has created a positive impact for Bumiputera entrepreneurs in ECER,” added Datuk Seri Issace.
“This runs parallel with ECERDC’s goal to improve the socio-economic status of the people in ECER, and accelerating the transformation of this region, where the majority of its population are Bumiputera,” he said.
TERAJU CEO, YBhg. Dato’ Husni Salleh said: “This initiative is part of the Government continuous efforts to ensure that the Bumiputera economic development in ECER continues to be enhanced. This fund will encourage more Bumiputera micro entrepreneurs and SMEs to expand their business through financial support for working capital, infrastructure and capacity building. ”
At the same time, this initiative was similarly implemented in Sarawak and Iskandar Malaysia through close cooperation between TERAJU and the Bumiputera Entrepreneur Development Unit (UPUB) of the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office and Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).
The financial assistance programme under the entrepreneur ECER-Maybank initiative are expected to benefit 1,000 micro entrepreneurs in the ECER, who now have the opportunity to receive financial assistance through the “topping up” of interest rate mechanism by ECERDC, so that the monthly repayment can be reduced. The maximum loan amount under the scheme is RM50,000 for each entrepreneur.
The Equipment Purchase, Infrastructure Works, Packaging and Working Capital Assistance Programme is divided into two schemes: The first scheme with an allocation of RM2 million is targeted to 200 new entrepreneurs who are not yet qualified for bank financing to help them start their business , as well as new graduate entrepreneurs. The second scheme with an allocation of RM1 million is targeted to 20 investors among SMEs that are involved in special projects in ECER, including the industrial parks in the Region.
Under the Contract Farming, Satellite Farming and Livestock Breeding Projects Entrepreneur Development Programme, as many as 20 new entrepreneurs involved in contract farming or satellite farming are expected to benefit, whereby priority will be given to those involved in the four existing agriculture and livestock projects in ECER.