Lack of commitment reason why many SMEs fail — Awang Tengah

Awang Tengah (third left) checks out products available at a booth set up at the festival ground.

MIRI: The success of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is determined by the commitment and hard work of entrepreneurs, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

He pointed out that despite the various initiatives and schemes rolled out by the federal and state governments over the years to aid the growth of SMEs in the country, lack of commitment by entrepreneurs has seen many of them fail in their endevours.

“Business enterprise is a source for us to improve our income. That is why we must be committed, and it is important that we try and do our best, not just ‘sekadar melepaskan batuk di tangga’ (a Malay proverb of doing something without any commitment, or just for the sake of doing it).

“If we do not know and do not understand, we can ask people who understand, and our earnest efforts will determine success. Start from small and if we work hard, God willing your business will grow bigger,” he said.

Awang Tengah, who is also International Trade, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Minister, made the remarks when officiating at the opening of ‘Majlis Fiesta Sahabat Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) and Jalinan Kasih AIM Cawangan Miri dan Niah’, here recently.

He said with SMEs forming 98 per cent of businesses in the country, the government is determined to help SMEs succeed as this would help create job opportunities for the people.

“Apart from AIM, there are many other agencies or institutions that provide business assistance such as Majlis Amanah Rakyat, the National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund, Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia Bhd, Malaysia Industrial Development Finance Berhad and Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd – all under the federal government.

“At state level, we have schemes in my ministry such as Skim Niaga Fest, Skim Niaga Jaya, Skim Niaga Perdana, Program Pembangunan Usahawan Kotej, and Putera implemented by Sarawak Economic Development Corporation. The Agriculture Department also helps us a lot.”

Awang Tengah pointed out that AIM, which focuses mainly on women, is an agency that has been very successful in providing business capital, and has been named ‘Best Islamic Microfinance Institution’ for five consecutive years under the Global Islamic Finance Awards.

“Not to mention, with the existence of entrepreneurial clubs such as Kelab Usahawan Ikhtiar Miri and Kelab Usahawan Wanita Ikhtiar Niah, we have been able to expand our networking and collaboration with other agencies and so on.”

He also pointed to various other initiatives such as the setting-up of ‘Anjung Usahawan’ and the RM60-million Miri Biovalley Park, as evidence that the Sarawak government is determined to provide the needed facilities for SMEs to succeed.

“The government will continue to provide assistance and support, but we can only try to facilitate. Every success depends on you so do not give up easily. All challenges faced can be overcome if you are serious about your work,” he said.

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