Datuk Ewon Benedick presents cheque to participants of SME Bank iTEKAD Ishraf, as witnessed by Dato' Muslim.

SME Bank’s Jom XCESS Fuels Entrepreneurial Growth In Sabah


SME Bank recently hosted its outreach programme, the Jom XCESS in Sabah, reinforcing its dedication to supporting local entrepreneurs and driving regional economic growth. The event provided Sabahan entrepreneurs with invaluable resources through sharing sessions, consultations, and direct interactions with SME Bank representatives.

Datuk Ewon Benedick, Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MECD), praised SME Bank for its steadfast support of entrepreneurial ventures in Sabah. “The Government’s firm commitment to achieving the goals of the National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 is demonstrated by our backing of initiatives like Jom XCESS,” he stated. “The collaboration between SME Bank and the MECD reflects our shared dedication to empowering entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth in Sabah. This event is crucial in offering a conducive platform for dialogue and collaboration, essential for creating thriving business environments in Sabah, and we deeply appreciate SME Bank’s role in these efforts.

Datuk Wira (Dr.) Aria Putera Ismail, Group President/Chief Executive Officer of SME Bank, emphasised the SME Bank’s significant impact in the region. “In 2023, SME Bank’s Sabah Regional Centre and Enterprise Centres in Kota Kinabalu and Tawau approved 118 financing applications, with a total of RM162 million. These figures highlight SME Bank’s vital role in providing crucial financial support to Sabahan entrepreneurs across various sectors.”

At the event, YB Ewon Benedick presented a cheque for RM420,000 for the 30 participants of the SME Bank iTEKAD ISHRAF programme from Sabah, in the presence of Dato’ Muslim Hussain, Chairman of SME Bank. This high-impact intervention programme assisted the B40 business community, specifically ‘Asnaf’ entrepreneurs, in improving their businesses and elevating their socioeconomic status from non-Zakat to Zakat-paying contributors. In addition, two participants of the Upward Migration programme received an appreciation plaque for their achievements in increasing sales, profit, export capacity, manpower resources and technology for sustainable business.

In addition to financial assistance, SME Bank offers a comprehensive suite of programs designed to enhance the capacity and competitiveness of entrepreneurs. The Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn. Bhd. (CEDAR), a subsidiary of SME Bank, has positively impacted over 80,000 individuals through its entrepreneurship training and coaching initiatives.

By continuing to provide both financial and developmental support, SME Bank plays a crucial role in driving the sustainable economic development of Sabah and Malaysia. Find out more about SME Bank’s programs and initiatives at www.smebank.com.my, SME Bank Facebook or call SME Bank’s Contact Centre at 603-26037700.

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