Ample opportunities for SMEs to get funding


  • Business
  • Friday, 20 Mar 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: There are ample opportunities for local small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) to obtain credit amid the economic slowdown, said MIRC Incubator Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Andrew Wong.

An initiative under the MCA ICT Resource Centre (MIRC), MIRC Incubator’s role is to help SMEs get access to funding, and it has teamed up with various organisations such as Malaysia Debt Ventures Bhd (MDV), Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd and EXIM Bank to create a one-stop centre for SMEs to access funds.

Currently there are over 500,000 SMEs nationwide.

“We welcome SMEs with good ideas and commercially viable businesses to approach us as we may be able to direct them to the appropriate organisation for funds or financing,” Wong said at a media briefing yesterday. “We can also help companies restructure to be more efficient and competitive.”

Wong said MIRC Incubator was aware that many SMEs were struggling to manage their businesses, especially with the prevailing global economic downturn and tightening credit.

“We believe there is a silver lining in this apparent doom and gloom whereby new businesses could flourish given some seed money or support,” he said.

MDV managing director Md Zubir Ansori Yahaya said his organisation “offers an attractive interest rate of up to 7% per year so long as these SMEs meet our criteria.”

Start-up companies with innovative ideas can turn to the Cradle Investment Programme for grants.

Cradle Fund senior manager Mohamad Johan Nasir said the programme was set up as part of government initiatives to support budding entrepreneurs from the incubation phase of their businesses to the commercialisation phase.

Johan said 337 enterpreneurs had benefited from the cradle programme and many had gone on to win customers in foreign countries like Bahrain, Indonesia and the Philippines.

“We have a current commercialistion rate of 45% of the entrepreneurs under the programme,” he said.

Johan said grants from Cradle Fund were not just for the information and communications technology field, but also for other fields like manufacturing, biotechnology, medical technology and telecommunications.

MIRC Incubator will be holding its MIRC Annual Funding & Financing Forum 2009 on March 26 at Wisma MCA. Admission is free.

For enquiries, call Alice Foong or Loh Hue Chuen at 03-21611618.

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