KUALA LUMPUR: 7 March 2019– The contributions by SME Bank on the development of SMEs in the country received global recognition when it receives the Merit Award under the Outstanding Development Project category for SME Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility project: SME Bank Y-Biz Challenge and two Special Awards for Best Sustainability Report and Best Website respectively at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP) held in Oman from 20-22 February 2019.
The SME Bank Y-Biz Challenge that won the Merit Award is the Bank’s signature programme specially tailored for secondary school students in Malaysia. Launched in 2012, a total of 2,169 students from 522 secondary schools have benefited from the SME Bank Y-Biz Challenge and with the objective to inculcate entrepreneurship among the youth, the competition has generated an accumulated sales of more than half a million ringgit by the participants and some have managed to sell their products internationally. The champion of SME Bank Y-Biz Challenge are also encouraged to participate in international competition with the Bank providing them incentive amounting RM25,000.00 in the form of flight tickets for five (5) representatives from the school.
It is a hat trick win for SME Bank in the Best Sustainability Report Award category and this is a testament on the Bank’s efforts toward being a sustainable organisation that emphasises on the well-being of the community that the Bank served. Apart from this, SME Bank being an Islamic Principle Based Development Finance Institution is committed to champion relevant initiatives outlined in the Value Based Intermediation (VBI), an initiative by the Bank Negara Malaysia, and report it into the Bank’s Integrated Annual Report.
The newly revamped and informative website has enabled the Bank to receive its third award under the Best Website Awards category. Understanding the current trend of the user of the internet, the Bank developed its website to be more responsive through various devices with the aim to provide better user experience. This is evident whereby more than 51% of the website visitors came from mobile devices. Having a responsive and informative website is crucial as it serves as a cross-promotion platform to fulfil the Bank’s branding and marketing functions through linkages to online forms and social media tools.
SME Bank also received the Top Performance Award from Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan (SJPP) during the launching of the new Government Guarantee Schemes on 18 February 2019. SME Bank is among the top five financial institutions in offering SJPP guarantee schemes to SMEs.
This year, the chosen theme for the 42nd ADFIAP Annual Meeting is “DFI’s Role in National Development” which highlights the various programs and initiatives undertaken by the DFIs in the development of entrepreneurship, infrastructure, technology, and initiatives for climate action. ADFIAP has been the platform for exchanging of ideas and sharing of knowledge between the DFIs in the Asia Pacific Regions.