SME Bank Bhd has launched a new programme, IQ-Dagang, which aims to nurture entrepreneurs’ ideas and turn them into commercialised products and services.
Under the programme, existing or budding small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can submit their ideas to SME Bank’s website or through its 18 branches nationwide.
The business idea or plan will then undergo various screening processes, namely idea generation, development and refinement, loan submission and commercialisation.
“We don’t just provide loans. Under this programme, the bank will assist SMEs via our expert consultants. We will also do business matching and mentoring programme once we have identified the businesses,” SME Bank managing director Datuk Mohd Radzif Yunus said in Kuala Lumpur.
“Turning ideas into viable and bankable business is the plan for IQ-Dagang. This can be achieved by guiding entrepreneurs to secure funding, nurture them towards sustainable success and to have more business partners like SME Bank to play the role as investors in the business matching,” he added.
The programme, launched by Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, has so far attracted 116 ideas registered under IQ-Dagang.
“SMEs’ common problem is viability and bankability. I believe this programme is timely to give opportunities to SMEs to turn their ideas into a commercialised products. Our aim is of course to export made-in-Malaysia products and services,” Mukhriz said.
Preferred industries eligible for assistance under IQ-Dagang are those that fall under the 12 National Key Economic Area, including oil and gas, education, construction, healthcare, halal food, transportation and logistic.
The intake for IQ-Dagang is every three months and the next intake will be in April.
The bank has no specific target as to how many SMEs it plans to train.
The government expects SMEs to become a major contributor to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) as this sector contributed RM200 billion, or 37 per cent, to GDP last year.
By year 2015, the expected needs of SMEs are RM180 billion and expected contribution by SMEs is 50 per cent to the GDP.
SME Bank hopes to capture at least 10 per cent of the market share, or some RM18 billion by then.