Loans to boost nano businesses

A lending hand: Ismail Sabri (11th from left) with the 15 loan recipients at the launch of SPED. — Bernama

A lending hand: Ismail Sabri (11th from left) with the 15 loan recipients at the launch of SPED. — Bernama

The scheme will provide small-time entrepreneurs with easier access to funds

BUMIPUTERA entrepreneurs can now start applying for loans of up to RM10,000 under the Rural Economic Funding Scheme (SPED) to expand their businesses.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that RM15mil has been allocated through Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) to provide loans to at least 1,500 small business entrepreneurs, or “nano” businesses, for this year.

“Nano is basically small businesses, and their income is usually not more than RM150,000 per year. Our goal is to make it easier for these businesses and entrepreneurs to apply for loans,” said Ismail Sabri.

“The loans are not more than RM10,000 each, and the application takes only seven working days to go through. They can take up to five years to pay off the loan and it only has a 4% interest rate.”

He said this after the launch of SPED in conjunction with the Rural Entrepreneurs Mini Carnival at Laman Kerayong Bera, Pahang last Friday.

Ismail Sabri added that the loans are open to those who want to start a new business or those looking to expand an existing one.

He noted that these nano businesses usually refer to those who open a stall at the night markets or morning markets, or those who sell their products online or from homes.

“These entrepreneurs don’t need a place of business or address. They just need a starting model for their businesses.

“And we don’t require them to have a guarantor or a special business account. A personal account for us to bank the money to them will do.”

“We will also help and provide assistance to these businesses. If they need marketing, Mara can help them with that because we want to see them succeed,” he said.

He added that the SPED scheme is catered to rural entrepreneurs located in 182 parliamentary constituencies and that the ministry plans to ask for more allocation for the scheme once the funds are fully utilised.

During the launch, 15 small business entrepreneurs were presented with a loan of RM10,000 each.

One of the loan recipients, Nur Syazwanie Ahmad, 31, said the loan will help her expand her restaurant business by opening a second branch within Bera.

“My second restaurant will be more focused towards opening around dinner time and selling Mee Sup or Mee Celup and I will use the money to buy the necessary inventory like pots and pans for the kitchen,” said Nur Syazwanie, adding that her business is currently six-years old.

“This loan is much easier to get and within three working days my loan was approved, which is so much easier than applying from a bank. And if I ask for such a small loan from the bank it might be difficult to get it,” she said.

Mohd Shahriza Maarof, 33, who sells perfume, plans to use his loan to start making Baju Melayu to sell them during the upcoming Hari Raya festive period.

“I will use the money to buy the raw materials for tailoring like threads and cloth,” he said.