MDEC announces automation grant to support SMEs making the digital leap
The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has introduced the #SMART Automation Grant (SAG) as part of the government’s initiative to expand support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to make the digital leap in this era of unprecedented disruption.
Chief executive officer Surina Shukri said the SAG, which is under the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana), takes a partnership approach between the government and SMEs to drive forward digitalisation for Malaysian businesses. “The SAG for the services sector is necessary as many SMEs are trying to survive in this disrupted business environment. In fact, most are also looking to do more digitally so they can overcome any potential challenges that may negatively impact their operations and income generation,” she said in a statement today.
She said SAG is an outcome-based grant whereby projects must achieve specific digitalisation benefits, such as increased revenue, savings in business costs and reduction in process life cycle and man-hours. “The introduction of this grant is timely for many as it will give them the support needed to take that digital leap into the Fourth Industrial Revolution era,” she said.
She said all SMEs in the services sector are invited to check their eligibility at mdec.my/sag. “SMEs who are interested, and confirmed as qualified, can send their applications directly to the MDEC,” she said.
She said among the requirements are the business must be incorporated in Malaysia, has a paid-up capital of RM50,000 and a minimum of 51 per cent equity held by Malaysian(s).
Surina said businesses in the services sector that qualify for SAG are retail, wholesale, food and beverages, tourism, logistics, transportation, education, healthcare, real estate as well as professional and financial services. “The SAG is available for 50 per cent of the total project cost or up to a maximum grant cap of RM200,000, whichever is lower. “As this is a matching grant, successful applicants will need to invest the balance of 50 per cent,” she said.
She said recipients must also strictly adhere to the one to three-month project timeline. “In developing and offering this services-focused SAG to SMEs, MDEC will ensure that these businesses will be able to quickly go digital and even accelerate current efforts to transform their operations,” she said. She said beyond enabling these businesses to be more sustainable, this initiative would also help them to discover new sources of revenue growth and market expansion.
She added that to increase their chances of obtaining the SAG, SMEs in the services space are encouraged to participate in capability building programmes run by MDEC that drive digitally powered businesses, such as 100 Go Digital and Digital Transformation Acceleration Programme 2.0.