ONE of the biggest misconceptions small and medium industry businesses have is that institutional financial help is not available to them, said Secretariat for the Advancement of Malaysian Entrepreneurs (SAME) chief executive officer Neil Foo.
“There are many financial options available for SMEs which make up 98.5% of companies in Malaysia. The two key criteria for them to qualify, however, is they have to have a marketable product or service, and are bankable.
“The latter is actually what most SMEs starting out are weak at. It basically means keeping good records to show how revenue is generated.
“The company and its directors’ credit rating should also be good,” Foo said at a press conference to announce the SAME Financial Roadshow.
The roadshow, organised by the Federation of Malaysia Chinese Guilds Association and endorsed by SAME, will bring together 18 local financial institutions, including Bank Negara Malaysia, Credit Guarantee Corporation, Malaysia Investment Development Authority, SME Bank and the recently launched TARC Incubator.
They will all set up kiosks at the event, to be held at Wisma MCA’s Dewan San Choon from 9am to 1.30pm tomorrow.
Foo said they had also gathered a number of venture capitalists, as well as one equity and product crowdfunder each for the event as a source of alternative financing options which SMEs can also explore.
His advice to SMEs seeking financial help was to either have a proven track record, or a sound business plan and model, both of which would be an important tool to attract investors.
All SMEs, regardless of industry size or date of establishment, are welcome to the event, which is expected to attract 1,000 people and will be the largest roadshow SAME has organised.
“We usually see between 300 and 500 people per roadshow, but we’re expecting a big one for one in Kuala Lumpur, which also marks the start of our 2016/2017 roadshow calendar.
“In the previous calendar, we managed to hit all states except Kelantan and Terengganu, which have been included this time round,” he said, adding that they might add more roadshows depending on the demand.
He also said the country was on track to achieve the SME Masterplan 2010-2020 goal of bringing the total GDP contribution from SMEs to 41% from the current 33%, among other things.
“There are 665,000 SMEs in Malaysia, and we’ve only met some 12,000 of them through our roadshows last year. We would like to reach out to more,” he added.
The roadshow will also feature the launch of SAME’s QR Malaysia campaign which is their effort at promoting the use of QR codes as a marketing tool.
“It is very effective and easy to use. It also makes sense to do marketing that utilises the smartphone because almost everyone has one today.
“While I was in China for an event recently, I noticed that instead of exchanging paper cards or printed material, people just scanned each others’ QR codes which allowed them to get all the necessary information quicker and was hassle-free,” Foo said.
The SAME Financial Roadshow is co-organised by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, Branding Association of Malaysia, Malaysia Retail Chain Association, Malaysia Entrepreneurs Development Association, Junior Chamber International, Malaysia Mobile and Communication Association, Malaysian Gifts and Premium Association and Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Fruit Farmers’ Association.
For details, call 03-9200 5105.