The Artisans Haven, Affin Bank offer Smart Solutions for SMEs homegrown businesses

Many businesses are often hindered by a lack of awareness, readiness, knowhow and the high cost of implementing new techs and biz tools to stay competitive

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic credit: artisanshaven.com.my

THE Artisans’ Haven (TAH) has partnered Affin Bank Bhd to launch its smart Solutions Services, which is expanded from its base handmade product range to include 15 technological solutions and competitive business tools in Technology, Innovation and Self-help to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

TAH CEO and co-founder Jade Lee said the e-commerce platform for local artisans and entrepreneurs’ vision is to support digital adoption among small homegrown businesses, particularly in e-commerce area.

The pandemic has expedited the need for businesses to adopt digital transformation, says Lee

“We believe that as more businesses participate in the digital economy, those that are left out of this digital revolution will struggle.

“The pandemic has expedited the need for businesses to adopt digital transformation,” she said at the virtual launch in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Lee noted that many businesses are often hindered by a lack of awareness, readiness, know-how and the high cost of implementing new technologies and business tools to stay competitive.

“And it is for this very reason that we are truly delighted to collaborate with Affin Bank to support Malaysian SMEs via the SME Colony,” she said. Affin Bank enterprise banking ED Lim Kee Yeong said the bank is committed to the long-term growth of SMEs and has several financial solutions to fit their needs.

“Affin Bank also offers the multi-award-winning SME Colony app — an application which provides engagement and collaborative opportunities within the SME community.

Lim says the bank is committed to the long-term growth of SMEs and has several financial solutions to fit their needs

“This unique community of highly engaged SMEs has proven that collaboration and partnership are a necessity, especially during challenging times,” he said.

He added that as part of this collaboration, TAH has curated 15 useful business solutions to offer, in support of fellow SMEs on SME Colony.

“We are constantly on the lookout for more affordable yet competitive business tools and technological solutions which will help equip businesses with the best strategies to bring their brand to the next level,” he said.

TAH targets to increase its offerings of Smart Solutions to 30 by June next year. The move followed the World Bank Malaysia’s report in its 24th Economic Monitor: Weathering the Surge stating that the pandemic has exposed gaps and exacerbated the vulnerabilities in the country’s private sector, which is true for SMEs in particular, which has received an impact by both demand and supply shocks.

Despite being the backbone of the country’s business environment, with 98.5% of businesses in Malaysia being SMEs, digital adoption among SMEs lags behind that of larger enterprises.

As such, TAH offers three-way solutions, namely Technology, Innovation and Self-help; coming in with services such as cybersecurity services provided by Vigilant Asia (M) Bhd, PC rentals by Rentalworks Sdn Bhd, digital designs by Volservers Solutions Sdn Bhd and business continuity by Yellow Shorts Sdn Bhd.

Other solutions include SMEs insights on staff training and motivation which are shared by motivational coach Xandria Ooi, human resources training consultancy MADLAB Training, AL Trainings Sdn Bhd which provides training, consulting and keynote speeches and public programmes, and Enfinity Academy whose vision is to cultivate and encourage the growth of creative talents in Malaysia.

Its Smart Solutions services also include personal development services which tap into health and fitness by Harizon Ramli, a certified coach with the American Council on Exercise, a one-stop gateway for scholarships by Scholarships2U, and a proprietary stock market trading software known as SMART ROBIE by Trade VSA.

Meanwhile, business services include delivery by TUUDI Parcel, bulk purchases by DCR Marketing Sdn Bhd, credit ratings by Experian Information Services Malaysia Bhd and a live chat platform at Wannatalk.ai.

TAH started in May 2020 with 30 tenants, with 250 tenants to date, projecting a growth rate of 50 tenants per month and is expected to cross 1,000 tenants in the next 12 months, while its website has an all-time high viewership of 200,000 with over 300,000 views on its Facebook page.