By SHAZNI ONG / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE government is reviewing regulations to ensure sustained support for the growth of entrepreneurs in the economy.
Minister of Entrepreneur Development Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof said his ministry will be taking a look at some of the existing regulations that are deemed too rigid or time-consuming which may have driven entrepreneurs abroad.
“The policy is there. It is just that the implementation needs some tweaking in terms of creating space. If not, they will run away. We have initiated the discussion across the ministries to facilitate it further.
“My personal opinion is that we need to move this quickly. We are moving, but we need to accelerate (on) the core competency, rules and regulations, and the space so that we can be on par with other countries in terms of taking advantage of innovation,” he told reporters after launching the SME Investment Partner (SIP) Programme in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Mohd Redzuan said if the institutions involved took too long to process an application, the country will miss the opportunity to realise the return of capital that such entrepreneurs want to develop.
“That is where we need to revamp certain processes to get (up) to speed so that we do not miss the opportunity,” he said.
Mohd Redzuan said the government remains committed to providing an alternative pathway for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to access financing by allowing private investors to invest into viable SMEs through the SIP Programme.
He said the programme offers both equity and debt financing to meet SMEs’ financing needs and will complement existing financing options.
“The programme aims to finance mainly early-stage SMEs between one and three years in operation, and will cover SMEs in all sectors including Main Street firms that are innovative and have strong, high growth potential, with a focus in newly emerging areas.
“It is better spread compared to the current venture capital financing which is mainly for technology-based companies,” he said.
The SIP Programme is one of the high-impact programmes under the SME Masterplan (2012-2020), and is a co-funding initiative between the government and private sector, with the objective to enhance access to financing for SMEs — particularly those at an early stage — through the provision of risk capital financing.
Under the programme, SME Corp Malaysia will appoint a fund management firm, referred to as SME Partners, to help raise funds from private investors that will be matched by funds from the government through SME Corp.
A total of RM90 million has been raised and is ready for investment into potential SMEs with the initial seed fund of RM40 million provided by the government via SME Corp — while SME Partners, Warisan Quantum Management Sdn Bhd and RHL Ventures Sdn Bhd have successfully raised up to RM50 million in funds.
In addition, SME Corp has identified more than 150 potential deals from existing SME development programmes such as Tunas Usahawan Belia Bumiputera and initiatives implemented in collaboration with PlaTCOM Ventures Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre and Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia for preliminary assessment under the SIP Programme.
Successful investments into SMEs are subjected to further due diligence exercises by SME Partners on the viability of the business model and potential growth of the SMEs.