SOBA shares knowledge with Sarawak SMEs

Inaugural event: (From left) SMG events business unit general manager Joachim Soon; RHB Bank group retail distribution, regional SME business development manager Sim Fen Nee; CGC Kuching Division branch manager Alex Chin; Taka Patisserie managing director Leong Kia Chun; DCCI supreme council member Stephen Mau Matahary; and DCCI Business Forum organising chairman Dr Carolina Sandra Giang during the DCCI Business Forum 2024 in Kuching, Sarawak.

Kuching: The Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) joined the Gawai Kaamatan Business Forum in Kuching, on Tuesday, in an effort to reach out to more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Sarawak.

The forum has been a platform for the Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and the Kadazandusun Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to share knowledge and to network with the local SME community.

The objective of the forum this year was to serve as a platform for business owners to keep abreast of emerging trends and challenges that impact business sustainability.

The forum was coordinated by the Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA), with the SOBA team hosting the networking lunch for the first time.

Present with the SOBA team were SOBA sponsors Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia Bhd (CGC) and RHB Bank Bhd (RHB Bank), which gave talks about their services and products that could be used by SMEs to scale up their business.

CGC’s talk focused on capital access for micro enterprises while RHB Bank talked about the various SME financing options that it provides.

The business forum also focused on two subjects that SOBA has been championing for in recent years – the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, and embracing emerging technology such as artificial intelligence (AI).

The forum on ESG highlighted the transformative impact of sustainable practices, emphasised that businesses that adopt robust ESG frameworks are better positioned to navigate the regulatory landscape and meet rising stakeholder expectations.

The talk also provided a comprehensive overview of current ESG regulatory requirements and future trends, offering valuable insights through case studies for companies at various stages of their ESG journey.

It also showcased successful sustainable implementations and their positive impacts on business performance and community well-being.

It further addressed common challenges companies face in adopting ESG principles, such as the lack of standardised reporting frameworks and the risk of greenwashing.

The session marked a significant step forward in the Sarawak business landscape thanks to the collective effort to promote sustainable business practices.

SOBA 2024 is organised by Star Media Group with CGC, PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd and RHB Bank as the main sponsors, with Malaysia External Trade Development Corp being the official trade-promotion partner.

It is audited by BDO while radio stations 988 and Suria are official media partners.

For more information, call SMG Events (017-231 1789) or go to

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