The Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia (SAMENTA) has expressed its support for the newly announced Malaysian Cooperative Entrepreneurship University (UKKM) which it views as a significant move to address the challenges faced by SMEs in Malaysia.
The association welcomes this initiative as a means to equip entrepreneurs with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the post-pandemic business landscape successfully, said SAMENTA chairman Datuk William Ng.
The Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives, Datuk Ewon Benedick, made the announcement regarding the establishment of UKKM yesterday.
According to Ng, SMEs have been grappling with a host of difficulties since the pandemic outbreak, including rising costs, compliance with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards, supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and low productivity.
Recognising the urgency to address these challenges, SAMENTA emphasises the importance of providing comprehensive training and retraining opportunities to entrepreneurs, enabling them to enhance their business scalability and stay abreast of the latest issues impacting the business community.
Ng noted that the association looks forward to the swift expansion of UKKM, envisioning a student population of at least 2,000 to accommodate the growing demand for capability enhancement among SMEs and cooperatives.
By collaborating closely with the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives and UKKM, SAMENTA aims to facilitate the upskilling and knowledge enhancement of SMEs, fostering an environment conducive to their growth and development, he said.
The association believes that empowering entrepreneurs with the necessary tools and insights will help them overcome existing obstacles, paving the way for their sustained success.
According to Ng, the establishment of UKKM reflects the government’s commitment to supporting SMEs and cooperatives in Malaysia, recognising their vital role in driving economic growth, job creation, and innovation.
By providing a specialized educational institution focused on entrepreneurship and cooperative development, UKKM will serve as a hub for cultivating entrepreneurial talent, fostering innovation, and equipping individuals with the skills needed to excel in the modern business landscape.
SAMENTA is optimistic that the collaboration between the government, the university, and the SME community will yield positive outcomes and contribute to the overall economic resilience of Malaysia.
Ng said that the association encourages SMEs and cooperatives to embrace this capability enhancement initiative, seizing the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and capabilities required for sustainable growth and competitiveness.
As the UKKM project takes shape, SAMENTA remains committed to supporting the government’s efforts to uplift SMEs and cooperatives, ensuring their continued success in the face of evolving challenges.
The association anticipates a brighter future for the Malaysian business community, driven by a skilled workforce and a thriving SME sector.