14 December 2020
Programme provides tools and mentorship for local micro-SMEs to expand during and beyond the current challenging business landscape
Kuala Lumpur: CIMB Bank Berhad and CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad (collectively “CIMB” or “the Bank”) recently introduced MicroBizReady, a programme offering mentoring and education support to micro-SMEs with tools that will help them thrive, not only in the current challenging COVID-19 environment but also in the longer term. Co-hosted by Taylor’s Education Group (“Taylor’s”), one of Malaysia's oldest, most successful and reputable private education institutions and founder of the Taylor’s Entrepreneurship Programme specifically curated to empower the B40 entrepreneurs.
A three day workshop, MicroBizReady benefitted 30 micro-SMEs from the food and beverage, catering, retail and service industries. Areas covered included Financing 101, on how SMEs can improve their credit, as well as digitalisation, to help them set up an e-commerce site, be on top of a search engine results, optimise e-Commerce logistics, HR tools online and cloud-based POS. To ensure a competitive edge, they were also given training on brand strategy, business strategy, exploring new business models to improve cash flow as well as crisis management. Over the programme, participants were also given insights on the potential of Malaysia’s halal business sector.
Graduates from the programme will have access to consultations by their programme mentors on keeping their businesses on track. They will also have access to CIMB’s HalalBizReady and GreenBizReady solutions when they convert to SME status. These two business solutions are offered by CIMB to support SMEs become halal-certified and green-certified as they grow and demonstrate interest in these areas.
Ahmad Shahriman Mohd Shariff, CEO of CIMB Islamic said, “CIMB is delighted to be part of the early growth phase of local small businesses especially in the current economic climate. Aligning to BNM’s Value-based Intermediation concept, MicroBizReady is specifically created to develop an entrepreneurship programme that is sustainable for our community. SMEs form the largest segment of businesses in Malaysia and we need to ensure they sustain and remain relevant in the competitive Malaysian market. This is very much in line with one of our Forward23+ strategic themes namely, ‘Customer Centricity’, where we place customers at the heart of everything we do, by helping them get through this difficult time. In a joint-effort CIMB Islamic and CIMB Bank’s SME banking division, together with Taylor’s, International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) and Shopmatic have formulated specific content in our programme based on the lessons we learnt in the last four years in building and ensuring a strong foundation to grow microenterprises into SMEs. We hope that the training and support provided will help them towards a brighter future.”
Following the completion of the pilot session of MicroBizReady, 25 out of the 30 of the participants have created their own e-commerce websites under the guidance of Shopmatic. CIMB also presented cash vouchers of up to RM3,000 and a 3-month subscription for Shopmatic’s e-commerce tools to the winners of a webpage development challenge that ran as part of the programme. With the success of the first installation, CIMB aims to reach out to at least another 150 micro-SMEs in 2021 who would benefit from this programme.
Norarsikin binti Maakim, owner of photography and events services provider Arsikin Vision Management said, “I am thankful to CIMB and Taylor’s for giving us the opportunity to participate in MicroBizReady. We have learnt so much from the programme, and I already have two new clients through my new website!”
Nurul Syuhada binti Roslan, proprietor of Sugar Bliss Desserts bakery added, “Having participated in other similar programmes, I would say this programme stood out from the rest with relevant content and knowledge that I can adopt instantly to my business. I look forward to the mentorship sessions to build a stronger business.”