KOTA KINABALU: The Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Cooperative Development, under the leadership of Datuk Ewon Benedick, has achieved remarkable success in various areas in the past year.
Numerous proud accomplishments and reforms have been accomplished for the benefit of the people, particularly entrepreneurs, traders, and cooperatives.
These achievements in the past year have significantly enhanced the ministry’s reputation as a driving force behind entrepreneurial initiatives, thereby contributing to the country’s economic growth.
In this current year alone, the ministry has introduced and implemented over 22 new programmes, schemes, and assistance through various agencies such as Kekun Nasional, SME Bank, UDA Holding Berhad, the National Institute of Entrepreneurship (INSKEN), Bank Rakyat, the Malaysian Cooperative Commission (SKM), SME Corp Malaysia, and the Institute Malaysian Cooperatives (IKMa).
KUSKOP and its affiliated agencies have introduced several new initiatives to support entrepreneurship and economic development.
These initiatives include the Guest Entrepreneur Financing Scheme (SPUT), Craft Entrepreneur Financing Scheme, Social Enterprise Financing Scheme, Sustainability Incentive Scheme, Sustainable Champion Scheme, Basic Product and Service Development Course (KAPPS), Advanced Cash Management Course (KUT), BRPlus, BRTani, BRJohorniaga, Rakyat2E, RAKYATpreneur 4.0, Bank Rakyat UNIPreneur 3.0, SME Export Strengthening Programmememe (SMEs Go Global), Micro MADANI Strengthening Programmememe (Mikro MADANI), Bumiputera Enterprise Enhancement Programmememe (BEEP) Plus Sabah and Sarawak.
Furthermore, KUSKOP, in collaboration with SKM, has reintroduced the Young Entrepreneurs Strive for Success (YESS) Programme, which was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
IKMA has also launched two new programmes this year, namely the Large Cooperative Targeted Guidance Programmeme and the Compulsory Course (PLUS) (Advanced Cooperative Board Governance Programmeme).
To promote entrepreneurship and provide training opportunities, INSKEN has established its first branch in Sabah in May 2023 and a second branch in Sarawak in October 2023. These branches aim to empower individuals in Sabah and Sarawak to become successful entrepreneurs.
Ewon, a native of Sabah, surprised everyone by bringing about a significant change and transformation in the field of entrepreneurship and cooperative development in the country.
Upon his appointment as the Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives on December 2, 2022, Ewon wasted no time and took the first step towards progress.
He introduced the Guest Entrepreneur Financing Scheme (SPUT), which was specifically designed for the benefit of Sabah and Sarawak.
“I have made it clear that while maintaining the existing focus of the ministry, I intend to provide additional attention to Sabah and Sarawak,” he stated.
“In March 2023, I officially launched the Guest Entrepreneur Financing Scheme in Kadamaian Kota Belud.
“Since its launch, a total of 1,108 hawkers and small traders have benefited from SPUT, receiving an allocation of RM4.78 million,” he said.
Additionally, Ewon has introduced a program aimed at financing craft entrepreneurial activities and tourism cooperatives to further enhance the development of entrepreneurship and cooperatives in the country.
The Craft Entrepreneurs Funding Scheme, the Tourism Cooperative Incentive Programme under the Malaysian Cooperative Commission (SKM), and the Tamu Desa Project are part of this ogram.
Through the craft entrepreneur scheme, Tekun offers financing of up to RM100,000 to micro and small entrepreneurs involved in crafts, batik clothing, handicrafts, souvenirs, and other craft-related enterprises.
Ewon highlighted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s dedication to addressing the challenges faced by the hawker community and small traders.
This commitment is evident through the substantial allocation provided for hawker kiosks, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Local Government Development, he said.
“Moreover, the hawkers and small traders in rural areas also require equal protection.
“They serve traditional customers, weekly customers, and those passing by who undoubtedly desire better stall amenities and services,” he said.
For this reason, KUSKOP and Ewon presented a proposal for the Tamu Desa Project to the Ministry of Finance during the budget preparation engagement session.
“Our aim is to secure specific allocations in the 2024 budget for the enhancement of entrepreneurial stall facilities.
“As a representative of the hawker and small trader community, I express my gratitude and appreciation to the esteemed Datuk Seri for approving an allocation of RM20 million in the Budget 2024,” he said.
Ewon stated that KUSKOP will provide a comprehensive plan for the implementation of the Tamu Desa Project to ensure the provision of clean stalls or business premises equipped with basic facilities.
This will enable them to attract visitors and tourists, he said.
He further mentioned that KUSKOP, along with its 10 affiliated agencies, including SKM, Tekun, UDA, IKMa, Bank Rakyat, INSKEN, SME Bank, SME Corp, Pernas, and AIM, successfully achieved the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for 2023.
This was accomplished through the implementation of various new initiatives and existing programs.
Under the Kuskop 2023 Strategic Plan, a total of 187 programs were executed by ministries and agencies throughout the year until November. These programmes benefited a total of 755,909 entrepreneurs, micro, small, and medium enterprises (PMKS), as well as cooperatives across the nation.
However, it is imperative to extend the same level of protection to the hawkers and small traders in rural areas. These individuals cater to traditional customers, weekly customers, and passersby who require improved stall facilities and services.
To tackle this matter, KUSKOP has submitted a proposal for the Tamu Desa Project to the Ministry of Finance during the engagement session for budget preparation. The objective is to secure specific allocations in the 2024 budget to enhance the facilities for entrepreneurship stalls.
“As a representative of the hawker and small trader community, I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Most Honourable Datuk Seri for approving an allocation of RM20 million in the Budget 2024. This allocation will greatly benefit our community,” he stated.
Ewon further mentioned that KUSKOP will provide comprehensive plans for the implementation of the Tamu Desa Project.
The aim is to ensure that the stalls and business premises are clean and equipped with essential facilities, making them appealing to visitors and tourists.
Regarding Kuskop’s accomplishments in 2023, Ewon highlighted that the organisation, along with its 10 affiliated agencies, namely SKM, Tekun, UDA, IKMa, Bank Rakyat, INSKEN, SME Bank, SME Corp, Pernas, and AIM, successfully achieved the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for the year.
This was accomplished through the execution of various new initiatives and existing programs.
Under the Kuskop 2023 Strategic Plan, a total of 187 programs were implemented by ministries and agencies throughout the year, benefiting a significant number of entrepreneurs, micro, small, and medium enterprises (PMKS), as well as cooperatives across the country.