Source: Buletin Mutiara

Micro, Small, and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSMEs) are key catalysts for the state’s economic development, contributing significantly to investment growth. In the budget for the year 2024, the Malaysian government reiterated its commitment to economic reform and the empowerment of the people. A notable emphasis is placed on sustaining assistance for (MSMEs) through the Madani Economic Framework.

In a strategic move, the budget earmarks RM44 billion to fortify MSME financing, including RM1.4 billion specifically allocated for BSN microloans catering to hawkers. Additionally, RM330 million is set aside for Tekun to bolster batik craft and marginalised groups. This financial injection holds the promise of transformative change, presenting new opportunities for Malaysian talents and industry players alike.

In Penang, under the leadership of Chow Kon Yeow, the state aligns itself with the national agenda while concurrently nurturing creative industries. Initiatives like the ‘Entrepreneurship One Culture’ (K1B) campaign and the Go Digital Micro Entrepreneur Programme in 2021 have not only empowered traditional businesses but also provided a platform for creative entrepreneurs to thrive.

Last year’s event, ‘Jelajah Jiwa SME 2023 Pulau Pinang’ programme, held at Aeon Mall Bukit Mertajam, is a testament to Penang’s commitment to fostering an MSMEs ecosystem that nurtures creative industries and niche business services. Organised by Astro AWANI, this comprehensive platform provided MSME entrepreneurs with networking opportunities and ideas to enhance competitiveness and quality, contributing to realising the Penang2030 vision.

Collaborations with prominent e-commerce platforms, including AirAsia Grocer, Foodpanda, Grab, Shopee, and PG Mall, have proven beneficial. These partnerships have impacted 42,935 MSME entrepreneurs, leading to a noteworthy RM150 million Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) growth in 2020. The Penang state government’s proactive approach is further evidenced by the provision of RM45 million in interest-free loans through the PEKA Loan Scheme, benefiting 2,170 entrepreneurs.[1]

These collective efforts align seamlessly with the overarching goal of Penang2030 – elevating people’s income through entrepreneurship. The emphasis is on cultivating a resilient, competitive, and globally-minded cadre of MSME entrepreneurs. Central to this strategy is the swift adaptation to technology and the digitisation of products and services to broaden market reach.

In essence, the synergistic efforts between the national and state governments and proactive collaborations with key stakeholders and e-commerce platforms paint a promising picture for MSMEs in Malaysia. The commitment to fostering innovation, providing financial support, and nurturing a digital-savvy entrepreneurial ecosystem signifies a comprehensive approach to drive economic growth and position MSMEs globally. The narrative of empowerment, collaboration, and digital transformation is a beacon for MSMEs in Penang and across Malaysia, heralding a future of sustainable economic development.

*Adopted and adapted from Bulletin Mutiara.Empowering MSME entrepreneurs


[1] (2023, December 16-31), Bulletin Mutiara. Empowering MSME entrepreneurs.