KUALA LUMPUR: Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd has launched BizSmart Challenge Accelerator Edition to empower small and medium enterprises to accelerate their business growth.

Alliance Bank Group CEO Kellee Kam stated that the seventh iteration of BizSmart Challenge will be expanded to include SMEs that have been operating for one to 10 years, with annual sales revenues ranging from RM500,000 to RM40 million.

He said the latest BizSmart Challenge launch reaffirms Alliance Bank’s commitment to the growth journey of businesses through dynamic banking and non-banking solutions.

“Partnering with experts in different fields will address the diverse needs for these businesses to face various challenges, especially during start-up phase, securing funding to accessing relevant business coaching,” Kam said at the launch today.

“For the first time, BizSmart Challenge is providing an opportunity for 30 finalists to present their business plans and ideas to venture capital investors from 1337 Ventures and 5X Capital,“ he said.

Kam emphasised that the opportunity is crucial for entrepreneurs to capture investors’ attention, thereby securing long-term business partners and investment funds. “The finalists must impress the judges, who will select the top 10 businesses to move on to the second round of business presentations,“ he said.

In addition, the top 10 businesses will have a chance to win cash prizes, business mentorship, brand exposure and business training worth up to RM2 million, along with priority financing of up to RM20 million from Alliance Bank.

“As part of our effort to become ‘The Bank For Life’ for our customers, we aim to help businesses succeed at every stage of their life cycle by providing tailored solutions for their needs,“ said Kam.

On Alliance Bank’s loan growth, he expressed optimism about achieving healthy growth this year.

“We anticipate a year-on-year loan growth of 8 to 10%,“ he said, adding that this growth would encompass all segments, including the SME market, corporate sector, and consumer businesses.