RM1bil initiative to scale-up bumi firms


CYBERJAYA: Some RM1bil in financing facility will be offered to scale up 1,000 bumiputra companies from low value micro and small enterprises to medium and large firms that can compete globally by 2030, says the Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju), an agency under the Economy Ministry.

Teraju chief executive officer Junaidy Nawawi said the RM1bil fund will be sourced from both Teraju and mostly from collaborators within the private sector.

“As a super-scaler of bumiputra companies, we will focus on micro and small firms and turn them into bigger firms and value creators such as exporters and public listed companies.

“We want to turn the unbankable into the bankable and the bankable into the investable,” Junaidy said at an event to announce the agency's realignment as part of the unity government's bumiputra economic agenda.

He said the fund is expected to be raised this year through collaborations with financial institutions, adding that the aim is to collect RM5 from every RM1 that is pledged by Teraju.

The event was also attended by Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli and leaders of Ekuiti Nasional Berhad (Equinas) and Yayasan Peneraju (Peneraju).

Junaidy said Teraju's aim of scaling up bumi enterprises will be achieved through methods such as fostering new market links, sourcing new funding, and potentially engaging in mergers and acquisitions.

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Elaborating on Teraju's realigned plan, Rafizi said that the agency, which had been set up in 2011 to strengthen the bumiputra economy, will no longer focus on giving out grants to bumiputras to start businesses.

Under the unity government, Teraju will now focus more on providing access to credit for bumi entreprises to evolve and become bigger.

Teraju's realignment is part of an overall plan to create a sustainable ecosystem for bumiputra businesses to thrive without being dependent on government funding, Rafizi said.

“Because grants are just free money. We want a blended pool of money so that recipients have to pay the money back,” Rafizi added.

"We're aiming to establish a sustainable ecosystem rather than simply achieving quick wins so that more than just a few companies can emerge from it.

"Over the next five to six years, we envision the private sector becoming an active participant within this ecosystem, which includes investments not only from banks but also from non-bumis," he added.

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