TO MARK the achievements of women entrepreneurs, SME Corp Malaysia recently organised the National Women Entrepreneurs Award (NWEA) 2014 in Kuala Lumpur.
The award is part of the government’s initiatives to encourage and increase the number of women entrepreneurs in Malaysia.
The government has set a target for 2016 to have 30% of board-member positions in companies be filled by women.
To date, there are 966 women managing directors, with 164 serving in listed companies.
Nominees for the NWEA were judged based on their leadership, business capabilities and contribution to the national economic landscape.
The event was graced by Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Haminah Hamidun, who presented the trophies to the winners.
Other criteria include high innovation in product and service offerings, risk taking, resilience and exemplary efforts in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Hyrax Oil Sdn Bhd founder and group managing director Datuk Hazimah Zainuddin was named recipient of this year’s National Women Entrepreneur.
Outstanding women entrepreneurs from industries ranging from entertainment to food and beverage were also recognised at the event.
Currently, there are 127,422 Malaysian SMEs owned by women. This represents 20% of the total number of SMEs in the country.
The majority of the companies (38%) that submitted nominations for the awards were from the manufacturing sector.
Nominees from specialised fields such as creative film, services, health and beauty, support, art management, digital autopsy and renewable energy made up 33%. The rest were from professional services (14%), retail and wholesale distribution (10%), and training and education (5%).
SME Corp observed that participation from manufacturing and professional services rose compared to when the event was last held in 2009.