A welcome boost for startups


  • News
  • Monday, 31 Oct 2016

The budget is very entrepreneur-friendly and particularly supportive of SMEs and startups, says Nazri.

STARTUPS have been in the limelight for a while now, and it’s timely that the community was highlighted in Budget 2017.

The startup community certainly welcomed the Government’s focus on them in the coming year. Cradle Fund chief executive officer Nazrin Hassan describes Budget 2017 as being very entrepreneur-friendly and particularly supportive of SMEs and startups.

“The solutions have been wide-ranging and covers strategic interventions like funding, human capital and support for regional or overseas expansion. An example of an important intervention is the RM200mil Working Capital Guarantee Scheme which will help startups secure facilities for their working capital and provide them better options than hunting for grants to cover their working capital needs,” he says.

Other measures to encourage investment in high technology startups include the introduction of a new pass category for Foreign Knowledge Tech Entrepreneurs and efforts to boost the e-commerce eco-system.

Nazrin says details on the Foreign Knowledge Tech Entrepreneurs pass is still unclear, but the initiative is expected to diversify the local startup talent pool and address domestic talent demand.

“A good strong eco-system relies on the diversity of a strong international talent pool, and it is hoped that the new pass would go far enough and encourage the inflow of foreign startups that would envision starting-up in Asia, using Malaysia as their Launchpad hub,” he says.

And with the Prime Minister’s declaration of 2017 being a Startup & SME Promotion Year, Nazrin expects Malaysia’s positioning as a primary startup hub to be more visible.

“And given all the support provided by the Government, we will be able to produce more regional, if not global, companies in the future, with the diversity of resources and talent pool made available. What’s needed in addition to current measures, is for the Government to incentivise more private investment by companies and large corporates into the startup space,” he adds.

The measures will definitely help the community seize the opportunity in capitalising on the Internet Economy, says Yasmin.
The measures will definitely help the community seize the opportunity in capitalising on the Internet Economy, says Yasmin. 

In its statement, Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood says the measures announced under Budget 2017 will definitely help the community seize the opportunity in capitalising on the Internet Economy.

“Budget 2017 also offers the startup community the much needed support of an eco-system that suits the nature of their business. With the implementation of Malaysia Digital Hubs, they can now enjoy the full benefits of the MSC Bill of Guarantees, including tax incentives.

“In tandem with growing the local startup community in Malaysia, efforts to attract Foreign Knowledge Tech Entrepreneurs to Malaysia will definitely catalyse the nation’s growth,” she added.

The emphasis on startups will help to create many opportunities, says Ashran.
The emphasis on startups will help to create many opportunities, says Ashran. 

Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) chief executive officer Ashran Ghazi is equally excited with the Government’s emphasis on startups as this will help to create many opportunities for the startup community.

“A big focus of ours next year will be to encourage greater collaboration between the whole eco-system, helping entrepreneurs to benefit from all of the programmes designed to support them.

“They include MDEC which has committed to introducing a digital hub across the nation and to continue to develop the next building blocks of digital entrepreneurship through signature programmes, eUsahawan and eRezeki,” Ashran says. — JOY LEE & LIM WING HOOI

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