SME Corp allocates RM36mil for innovation vouchers


  • Business
  • Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013

"Eligible SMEs will receive grants of up to RM400,000 to cover the certification and quality management system, product packaging, innovation and research and development, branding advertising and promotion, alongside purchase of machinery and equipment," Hafsah said. - Bernama filepic

KUALA LUMPUR: Small and Medium Enterprises Corporation (SME Corp) has announced an allocation of RM36 million for innovation vouchers to be distributed from today. 

Its Chief Executive Officer Datuk Hafsah Hashim said the voucher aims to promote innovation and technology adoption by local SMEs to create new products and solutions or improve operational efficiency as well as productivity under the 1-innoCERT Programme.

"Eligible SMEs will receive grants of up to RM400,000 to cover the certification and quality management system, product packaging, innovation and research and development, branding advertising and promotion, alongside purchase of machinery and equipment," she told the media here after the soft launch of the SME Innovation Award 2014. 

Hafsah also said that under the certification programme, companies would be given a fast track to utilise the incentives. 

1-innoCERT's core function is to identify, certify and recognise innovative SMEs through the certification process. 

Meanwhile, SME Corp Chairman Datuk Mohamed Al Amin Abdul Majid said the agency would also launch productivity vouchers in the first half of 2014. "The productivity vouchers worth between RM1000 and up to RM10,000, are aimed at providing financial assistance for micro-enterprises to enhance productivity, depending on the business performance," he added. 

Companies with a sales turnover of or less than RM300,000 or less than five employees are eligible to apply for the vouchers. - Bernama

Bernama also reported separately that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia continue to grow, not withstanding global economic uncertainties and a more challenging marketplace.

The SME 100 Report shows that revenue grew by a whopping 37 percent last year for the top 100 SMEs in the country.

This is remarkable given the country's overall GDP growth of 5.6% in 2012 and the expected 4.5% to 5.0% growth expected for 2013.

 "While the records set by the top 100 may not be representative of all SMEs, it dispels the myth that business has been bad for SMEs in general in Malaysia", says Dato' William Ng, goup publisher and editor-in-chief of SME Magazine during the awards ceremony.

The SME 100 Report surveyed 2,000 top SMEs in Malaysia between July and October this year. A total of 692 companies responded to the programme, with the top 100 selected among the respondents based on quantitative criteria such as revenue growth and profit, and qualitative criteria such as business outlook, investment in training, and R&D efforts, to receive the SME 100 Award.

Among the award recipients are Bukit Merah Arowana Farm Sdn Bhd, Datasonic Smart Solutions Sdn Bhd, I-Ilham Corporation Sdn Bhd, LA Corporation Sdn Bhd, My-Sutera Sdn Bhd, Super Piles Sdn Bhd, Tetap Tiara Sdn Bhd and Tiram Travel Sdn Bhd.

Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Hamim Samuri who officiated the release of the list and presented awards to the top 100, said that the government has always facilitated a pro-business environment.

"The Government is determined to facilitate the growth and development of a competitive and resilient SME sector as a key component of the Government's economic growth strategy", Hamim said.

Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohd Diah, who was also present at the awards ceremony advised SMEs to adopt innovation as a game changer.

"Products and services are becoming more similar. What you can produce and sell, so can our competition from other countries. As such, the only thing that can set us apart, and keep us ahead, is our ability to innovate as a country", Abu Bakar said. - Bernama



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