Bank Islam taps unbanked, underbanked micro-entrepreneurs with RM2m fund

by BERNAMA / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

BANK Islam Malaysia Bhd today launched BangKIT Microfinance with an initial fund of RM2 million, a facility funded from donations made by the corporation and the public to assist the unbanked and underbanked micro-entrepreneurs.

Offered under the Al-Qard contract (interest-free), BangKIT Microfinance provides financing as low as RM500 up to RM3,000 for start-ups and from RM3,000 up to RM20,000 for business expansion with a repayment period of between six months and three years.

“For a start, RM2 million is allocated under the facility, which is set to benefit 200 micro-entrepreneurs from BangKIT Microfinance, subject to availability,” Bank Islam chairman Tan Sri Dr Ismail Bakar said.

He said the introduction of BangKIT Microfinance, under the Sadaqah instrument, is to achieve the objective of assisting the selected unbanked and underbanked segment to obtain capital and subsequently equip them with training to ensure business sustainability.

He said the initiative is also to help recipient, mainly the B40 income group to build a good credit record to ensure that they qualify for future financing, hence, able to increase their income and create jobs opportunities.

Ismail said Sadaqa House has also organised #KitaBantuKita campaign from Nov 25, 2020 to Jan 31, 2021 to raise funds to help those affected by the third wave of COVID-19.

As an added value, the campaign uses 1:1 matching basis. Bank Islam offers a matching fund of up to RM500,00 for every donation under the campaign.

Meanwhile, chief executive officer Mohd Muazzam Mohamed said the bank believes that Islamic financial instruments could support Malaysia’s growth towards a high-income country.

“We put the Social Finance initiative as part of our 2021 Strategic Goals and are strategising its wider implementation before the pandemic.

“As the world grapples with the economic outcome of COVID-19, the pandemic has accelerated our social and financial mission due to the urgent need for all possible options to mitigate its impact to people’s livelihood and the nation’s economy,” he noted.

Sadaqa House, which was established in 2018, will fund the microfinance facility from donations made by the corporation and the public.