KUALA LUMPUR: Agencies under the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) have provided various assistance and financing initiatives without collateral to help women and youth entrepreneurs, including young people, to start and expand businesses, said Entrepreneur Development and the Cooperatives Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick (pix).

He said that in 2022, TEKUN has channelled an allocation of RM1.1 billion under the National TEKUN Funding Programme involving 73,073 entrepreneurs including women and youth entrepreneurs.

“Starting this year, TEKUN Nasional has introduced a special financing programme without collateral for entrepreneurs who do business online through the Skim Pembiayaan Online TEKUN (SPOT).

“This special financing is open to all ages and genders including women and young entrepreneurs and as of Feb 10, a total of 118 women and youth entrepreneurs have received SPOT financing involving an allocation of RM884,000,“ he said during an oral question and answer session at Parliament today.

He was answering a question from Siti Mastura Muhammad (PN-Kepala Batas) about the special assistance scheme for beginners without collateral to help women and young people to venture into business.

Ewon said SME Corp also provides assistance in capacity development in the form of training, start-up grants without collateral and advisory services to Bumiputera youth aged 18 to 30 years and RM1 million has been provided under the planning of the Tunas Usahawan Belia Bumiputera (TUBE) programme in 2023.

“For 2021 and 2022, SME Corp has implemented the TUBE 8.0 and TUBE PEMERKASA programmes for Bumiputera youth who would like to venture into business with an allocation of RM12.74 million.

A total of 915 youths have participated in the programme and 436 of them are female youth,“ he explained.

He said there are other agencies such as Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia that provide unsecured financing for example Skim Pembiayaan Ikhtiar (SPI) I-Mesra and Skim Pembiayaan Ikhtiar (SPI) I-Muda for potential entrepreneurs among women and young people under the age of 40 and with low incomes to start a business. and at the same time, Bank Rakyat offers a programme to help women entrepreneurs without collateral through the BizLady programme.

“In 2022, a total of 80,866 entrepreneurs had received financing under the I-Mesra scheme with an allocation of RM722.7 million and a total of 97,229 entrepreneurs had received financing under the I-Muda scheme with an allocation of RM667.71 million and through Bank Rakyat, as many as 1,452 female entrepreneurs received BizLady funding involving allocations amounting to RM63.21 million last year,” he added.

Bank Rakyat has also collaborated with Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) to provide a financing programme for graduates through the Graduate Mentoring Program which includes a training and guidance process of between three to six months as well as a financing package of RM100,000 for programme participants who have successfully completed the exercise.

“A total of 2,236 UiTM graduates, including 1,755 women, have attended explanations and briefings related to this programme in 2022” he added. -Bernama