KUALA LUMPUR: May 24 – Innovative and creative entrepreneurs who aspire to expand their businesses using digital technology can now turn their creative ideas into successful e-business with the launch of SME Bank’s Business in Digital Startup Programme or known as BID-it.
Datuk Mohd Radzif Mohd Yunus, Group Managing Director of SME Bank said, “Responding to the Government’s effort in making e-business as a major economic contributor to the country, SME Bank took the lead and introduced BID-it with the aim of propagating new and innovative business ventures that incorporate Digitalization and Cross Border Transaction through technology and e-Commerce as business enablers especially for start-ups. At the end of the journey, BID-it will be a platform for entrepreneurs to be considered for funding while being offered structured nurturing programmes from the point of ideation to the point of commercialization.”
He added, “To make BID-it more meaningful and to embrace value adding principles on all aspects of the digital business, we are collaborating with nine reputable organizations and they are Cradle, MaGIC, MDEC, Microsoft, New Entrepreneurs Foundation (MyNEF), Payoneer, Dewan Perniagaan Usahawan Siber Malaysia (DPUSM), RAVE and Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK).”
BID-it started with an awareness campaign held at 11 locations nationwide in March and April. More than 1,300 participants attended the awareness programme and they were given an insight on current trend of doing e-business and various opportunities available for them to expand the businesses. At the end of the session, participants were invited to submit their ideas for the Bank and partners to evaluate on its viability and bankability.
The Bank received 163 business ideas and the panel-Committee selected only 72 ideas. Participants of the 72 ideas went through the elevator pitch session yesterday on and 20 finalists were chosen and announced during the launching ceremony of BID-it. The 20 finalists will attend a specially designed bootcamp where their ideas will be further consolidated, fine-tuned and determined for an appropriate funding to be considered by those investors or funders, including SME Bank. The successful finalists will be further coached and guided through a hand-holding structured programme by SME Bank that may spread between 12-24 months to ensure the success of their ventures.
The launching ceremony was officiated by YB Datuk Ahmad Maslan, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry.
Since its inception in 2005 until December 2016, SME Bank has approved RM26 billion worth of financing to more than 15,000 customers. The Bank’s Upward Migration effort under the Specific Intervention Programmes has benefited more than 880 entrepreneurs, thus producing more sustainable SME entrepreneurs in the country. Through its wholly owned subsidiary Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn. Bhd. (CEDAR) which complements the Bank’s developmental role on capacity building and capability development has successfully trained and coached more than 34,000 participants since its establishment in 2013.
SME Bank recently received three excellence awards during the 40th Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP) Annual Meeting held in Macau and they are the Merit Award under Human Capital Development for its Employees Capacity Building project, Winner of the Trade Development Category for its Best Exporter Programme and the Special Award for Best Website.