One of the ways that SME Corp Malaysia uses to encourage good entrepreneurship is its annual Enterprise 50 Awards.
More than just an awards programme, the Enterprise 50 gives recognition to the achievements of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The awards are given out in November but the run up to the competition is fiercely competed, accentuating the competitiveness, innovation and resilience as they strive to become the best in class for the awards.
The programme is also meant to uncover potential growth from among the smaller companies as well as increase the visibility of the winners, something which is apparently working. In the past 16 years no less than 60 Enterprise 50 award winners have listed on the local stockmarket, indicating the quality of the awards.
SME Corp chairman Datuk Dr Mohamed Al- Amin Abdul Majid recently said 46 companies are listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia while 14 are on the ACE Market (formerly known as MESDAQ).
He said the Enterprise 50 Awards programme has been successful in promoting and showcasing competitive and resilient enterprises that are capable of facing global challenges.
Since its inception in 1996, the award have been acknowledged by industry players to accurately represent achievements in business and entrepreneurship. Organised by SME Corp and Deloitte Malaysia, the programme is well supported by sponsors such as RHB Bank Bhd and Telekom Malaysia Bhd.
Every year the 50 winners are selected from nominations based on both financial and nonfinancial achievements. To date, a total of 1,726 companies from various sectors have participated, with 511 winners.
According to SME Corp CEO Datuk Hafsah Hashim the Enterprise 50 Awards is an appreciation of the ups and downs faced by all small companies in a competitive and challenging field.
Recently, she was quoted as saying that entrepreneurship was all about the journey to become a successful company.
“Starting a business is like riding a roller coaster, there are highs and lows and every turn you take is another twist. The lows are very low but the highs can be really high. You have to be strong, keep the stomach tight, and ride, along with the roller coaster that you started,” she said.
“There are those who did not make it, and others who with strong determination and guts, came through with flying colours.”
In the greater scheme of things, entrepreneurs who make up the backbone of SMEs were not given much attention in the early days of government policy, due the small size of their businesses and the crowded marketplace of companies needing attention. However, the same SME sector is recognised today of being one of the key drivers of the economy and plays a vital role in the future of the country.
Hafsah said SMEs could do well to prepare and avail themselves to the many incentives and assistance from the government under its SME Masterplan 2020 as Malaysia strives to become a developed and high-income nation by then. According to the findings of the 2011 Economic Census, SMEs make up 97.3% of the total number of businesses registered in Malaysia. The segment contributes to 19% of national exports, which is expected to increase to 25% by 2020.
“I am therefore confident the Masterplan will spur the SME’s to move forward and stimulate the country’s economy while at the same time many of them becoming global players in the future,” she said.
Hafsah said this year’s Enterprise 50 Awards competition will select the cream of the crop of new SMEs as winners from which SME Corp hopes to see at least 15% being listed on the Bursa Malaysia by 2015. She said the final list will comprise companies rated four stars and above under the Enterprise 50 Awards scoring method. There are 274 SMEs currently rated with four stars and above.
“So the search is on for the best 50 winners. We are looking for winners, not just based on their current performance but also on how they position themselves for the future,” said Hafsah.
She said women entrepreneurs who make it into the league will be selected to attend the Female Entrepreneur Programme at the University of Oxford’s Business School. The awards ceremony will be held at a gala dinner on Nov 15.
Benefits of E50 Winner
Winners will get to enjoy publicity in both the print and electronic media, as well as be featured in the Enterprise 50 (E50) website.
Winners are also honoured with:
• Receiving the E50 award trophy and certificate at the awards dinner
• Being automatically nominated for the Industry Excellence Award and the National Productivity Award
• Free seat at the exclusive awards dinner where winners will be given the opportunity to network with the movers and shakers of the Malaysian economy
• Receiving media coverage from Business Times, Media Prima Bhd, SME Corp Malaysia and other print media
• An endorsement and mark of recognition and excellence for the winning company
• Being able to use the E50 logo on your corporate collateral
• Privileged access to the winners circle where E50 winners can access latest industry, specific research reports, case studies and groundbreaking information
• Automatic entry for Deloitte Tech Fast 500 Programme
• Special Business Solutions Package from Telekom Malaysia Bhd
• Fast lane processing for loan application and RHB Business Platinum Credit Card from RHB Bank Bhd
• Being featured in the E50 homepage www.e50.com.my