i-EPF ENABLES SME ENTREPRENEURS TO OWN BUSINESS PREMISES
KUALA LUMPUR : 31 May 2016 – Owning a business premises will no longer be an obstacle to SME entrepreneurs in expanding their businesses with the launch of i-Enterprise Premise Financing (i-EPF) by SME Bank during its 2nd round Outreach Program for Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Regional Centres which was officiated by YB Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani, Deputy Finance Minister II.
In his speech during the launching of i-EPF Datuk Johari said, “SMEs are considered as one of the important factors in driving the economic growth. SMEs are not only important in the aspect of the economic growth but also important in creating job opportunities.”
He added, “In the 2016 Budget, the Government has created various special programs to accelerate SME’s contributions towards our national GDP. These include the Shariah-Compliant SME Financing Scheme (SSFS) until 31 December 2017 whereby the Government will bear 2% from the financing profit rate; implementation of the SME Masterplan with an allocation of RM107 million through the provision of funds at various business stages; strengthening the entrepreneurs competitiveness with an allocation of RM60 million through “Skim Anjakan Usahawan” (SAU) and “Skim Peningkatan Kapasiti dan Keupayaan PKS”; establishing the SME Technology Transformation Fund (STTF) under SME Bank as a soft financing at an interest rate of 4% with an allocation of RM200 million and expanding the “Transformasi Kedai Runcit” (TUKAR) & Automative Workshop Modernisation (ATOM) projects with an allocation of RM18 million.”
With i-EPF, entrepreneurs can focus on increasing their business capacity and capability with a bigger and better work space. Introduced in 2013, SME Bank has approved more than RM712 million to 289 companies involved in various industries such as manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, education and others.
SME Bank Outreach Program is an annual event held with the aim to reach out to the SME entrepreneurs directly. During the 1st series of the program, SME Bank’s Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Regional Centres assisted more than 22 customers with financing approval amounting RM91.1 million. The 2nd series of this Outreach Program will be continued to another 6 selected locations throughout the country.
SME Bank Group Managing Director, Datuk Mohd Radzif Mohd Yunus in his speech to the more than 300 SME entrepreneurs who attended the event said, “SME Bank aims to approve financing worth RM270 million to eligible companies that are present today.”
Since its inception in 2005 until December 2015, SME Bank has approved RM23 billion worth of financing to more than 13,000 customers. The Bank’s Upward Migration program has successfully upgraded more than 630 SME businesses to a higher level. Meanwhile, CEDAR or Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn. Bhd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SME Bank, has successfully coached more than 24,000 participants in various SME development programs.
SME Bank’s commitment in assisting SMEs to grow and remain competitive have been recognized internationally by the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP) in Apia, Samoa on 2 May 2016 when it received the awards for Outstanding Development Project for the Graduate Entrepreneur Fund (TUS) and Best Sustainability Report 2014. Datuk Mohd Radzif also received the Outstanding CEO Award from ADFIAP.