KUCHING: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro-entrepreneurs are told to utilise digital technology in order to face various challenges post Covid-19.
Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said this is because there is no guarantee that the country’s business sector would return to normal once the pandemic is over.
He said this while attending a town hall session with the Kelantan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kota Bharu on Sunday (Mar 7).
During his speech, he said the Covid-19 pandemic has indirectly boosted the use of technology in everyday life where digitisation is an important element not only for reviving a business, but also for starting one.
“Covid-19 has changed our lifestyle and with limited movement and encounters, the use of digital applications is becoming more widespread. This also becomes a catalyst to increase the usage of information technology,” he said.
Wan Junaidi said last year, his ministry through SME Corp Malaysia (SME Corp) facilitated 7,851 micro-enterprises, including Bumiputera entrepreneurs to adopt digital technology in their business operations through the Micro Connector Programme.
“The Micro Connector Programme is one of the on-going initiatives by SME Corp to develop micro-enterprises and household communities in the B40 group in the country.
“The programme aims to provide early-stage assistance to micro-enterprises in setting up and running a business as well as training the B40 community to acquire new skills to generate income through entrepreneurship.
“Under this programme, SME Corp has partnered with Warong Rider, a food and goods delivery service platform that can help youth, traders and small hawkers throughout Malaysia to market various products in the local area,” he added.
On top of that, he said SME Corp is also implementing the Bumiputera Enterprise Enhancement Programme aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of Bumiputera SMEs through integrated assistance which includes advisory services, technical assistance, training and financial support in the form of matching grants.
“As of December 2020, a total of 1,212 applications have been approved with a grant value of RM175.4 million under the programme,” said Wan Junaidi.