CIMB MicroBizReady programme committed to empowering local SMEs and micro businesses


The MicroBizReady programme has benefited 316 participants in eight cohorts since its inception in 2020

SMALL and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro businesses are the backbone of the economy. They form the largest segment of businesses in Malaysia, create job opportunities and contribute significantly to economic growth in the country.

Given the crucial role that these businesses play in the economy, CIMB is committed to empowering SMEs and micro businesses to be at their most competitive in today’s digital-led world – through the CIMB MicroBizReady programme.

First introduced in 2020, the programme offers training and mentoring support across various areas such as digitalisation, business strategy as well as banking and financial literacy – primarily targeting business owners from the B40 community to help them thrive in the ever-changing business environment.

“CIMB is proud to take a leading role in ensuring the development and sustainability of SMEs and micro-businesses,” says CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad (CIMB Islamic) chief executive officer Ahmad Shahriman Mohd Shariff.

“This forms the core mission of MicroBizReady and guides the programme’s activities through providing valuable resources that can help business owners on their journey to success. The programme also reflects efforts, as part of the larger CIMB Group, to continuously be a committed partner in supporting the SMEs through a challenging business environment.”

(From left): Taylor’s Education Group head of group communications & corporate social responsibility May Wong, CIMB Bank Berhad head of commercial banking - SME banking Jaya Balan Kathiravalu,  Ihsan Madu Empire founder Ahmad Ihsan, ModulEight Technologies Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Syed Omar Syed Abu Bakar Almohdzar and CIMB Islamic chief executive officer Ahmad Shahriman Mohd Shariff, during the award presentation at a closing ceremony of the CIMB MicroBizReady Programme.(From left): Taylor’s Education Group head of group communications & corporate social responsibility May Wong, CIMB Bank Berhad head of commercial banking - SME banking Jaya Balan Kathiravalu, Ihsan Madu Empire founder Ahmad Ihsan, ModulEight Technologies Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Syed Omar Syed Abu Bakar Almohdzar and CIMB Islamic chief executive officer Ahmad Shahriman Mohd Shariff, during the award presentation at a closing ceremony of the CIMB MicroBizReady Programme.

The programme also intends to future-proof SMEs and micro businesses in the digitalisation era to ensure they achieve their business goals, whilst improving the livelihoods of their families and surrounding communities.

Participants of the programme are selected based on a rigorous process led by its co-host, Taylor’s Community, which involves screening and interviews to select eligible SMEs and micro businesses from the underserved B40 community, to be part of the programme.

They will be provided with bi-weekly in-class training on critical business areas and also coaching in managing emotional well-being.

In addition, participants will have the opportunity to take part in sharing sessions to learn from former participants and Taylor’s alumni, who are able to share their entrepreneurship journey and success stories.

The programme, supported by its digital partners, namely EasyStore and Mesinkira, has assisted 316 participants across eight cohorts comprising business owners, women entrepreneurs, asnaf and the differently-abled communities within Klang Valley.

This year alone, winners of the programme received over RM100,000 worth of cash prizes and services from CIMB and its digital partners.

EasyStore is an e-commerce platform provider that helps to assist the SMEs and micro businesses in their digital transition via their platform.

Meanwhile, Mesinkira is an integrated mobile business management solution that helps entrepreneurs understand their business health better, while growing their business at the same time, by making informed decisions through its comprehensive suite of digital empowerment tools.

“The programme has helped me gain self-confidence and focus on areas to grow my business,” says Sofiah, who is a former winner of the MicroBizReady programme. “The programme has helped me gain self-confidence and focus on areas to grow my business,” says Sofiah, who is a former winner of the MicroBizReady programme.

The winner of CIMB MicroBizReady 2023 cohort, Sofiah Yahyah said that she gained a lot of valuable experience and learned a lot from participating in the programme.

Sofiah is the founder of Jinjang Excellent Enterprise, a supplier and distributor for varieties of crab food under the “Crabhaus” brand, and also a wholesaler for Muslim clothing and accessories under the “Glamourose” brand.

“The programme has helped me gain self-confidence and focus on areas to grow my business. There were many useful learnings that I can implement in my day-to-day operations. In addition, the pitching session also helped me to be more confident and comfortable speaking in front of people which is useful to market my products,” she shares.

“The classes on mental and emotional well-being also taught me how to handle difficult situations in managing my business,” says former MicroBizReady participant Masidah“The classes on mental and emotional well-being also taught me how to handle difficult situations in managing my business,” says former MicroBizReady participant Masidah

Former participant Masidah Abu Bakar, who is the owner of Inspirasi Intan Enterprise, which is a supplier and distributor of Rempeyek Kacang Padu, echoed Sofiah’s statements as she said that the MicroBizReady programme helped her grow and develop her business – and herself too.

“Through the programme, we learned how to improve the way we articulate ourselves and market our products. There are also opportunities to receive cash rewards and free digital solutions subscription from CIMB’s digital partners which helped my business transition seamlessly.

“The classes on mental and emotional well-being also taught me how to handle difficult situations in managing my business,” says Masidah.

With the encouraging response from participants, CIMB plans to extend the reach of its MicroBizReady programme beyond Klang Valley to reach out to more SMEs and micro businesses across the country.

The programme will be extended to the northern and southern regions of Malaysia by the second half of 2023, with a five-day physical boot camp being held in Kedah and Melaka.

The first boot camp will be held at Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah (UNISHAMS) in Kulim, Kedah, from June 18 to 22. The second will take place at Kolej Yayasan Melaka from September 5 to 9.

Both boot camps will take place from 9.30am to noon daily.

Interested SME and micro business owners can click here to find out more about the MicroBizReady programme.

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