Kuala Lumpur, March 31 - SME Bank has disbursed up to RM70 million, to-date, in financial assistance under the bank's Online Business Financing programme.
Speaking to reporters after launching the SME Bank Xcess 2017 here on Wednesday, group managing director Datuk Mohd Radzif Mohd Yunus said the bank had allocated RM200 million for online business financing since 2016.
He also said that the bank aimed to launch the Business in Digital (BID-IT) financing programme next month.
"This is another programme designed to assist young entrepreneurs, aged between 20 to 35, to expand their existing small businesses and to go into the digital and e-commerce platforms," he added.
He said BID-IT participants would have to undergo a comprehensive development programme before getting financial assistance from SME Bank.
"We're confident the programme would receive a positive take-up rate this year, especially after the formation of the Digital Free Trade Zone.
"We expect to achieve our target as we see a growing trend among the younger entrepreneurs to conduct business via the digital platform," Mohd Radzif said.
SME Bank Xcess 2017, which is an annual Outreach programme designed to tackle the issue of access to financing for entrepreneurs was launched wednesday by the Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Ahmad Maslan.
Since its inception in 2005 until December 2016, SME Bank has approved RM26 billion worth of financing to more than 15,000 customers, and has been recognised at the international level to be the first Development Financial Institution (DFI) in Malaysia and ASEAN to be a member of the Montreal Group.
“XCESS 2017 is part of SME Bank’s effort in executing the SME Start-Up and Promotion Year as announced by the Prime Minister during the 2017 Budget Announcement,” said Mohd Radzif.
He added, “For XCESS 2017, we deployed 50 credit officers who are experts in their respective field of financing offered by SME Bank. In total, 700 one to one consultation sessions were conducted.”