The SME Bank 90-Days Biz Challenge 2022 business competition program has unveiled the entrepreneurial skills of 20 finalists from community colleges and polytechnics when they recorded sales of over half a million ringgit throughout the 10-month competition period compared to the previous edition sales of RM103,000.

The Secretary General, Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Cooperatives Development (KUSKOP), Dato’ Suriani Dato’ Ahmad, during the prize presentation ceremony said, “Since the SME Bank 90-Days Biz Challenge program started in 2015, the total sales value recorded by all participants is approximately RM1.43 million.

“This proves that with appropriate training, guidance and dedication, businesses ventured by our youths can be successful despite facing various challenges.”

Group President/Chief Executive Officer SME Bank, Datuk Wira (Dr.) Aria Putera Ismail said, “SME Bank 90-Days Biz Challenge is a signature corporate responsibility program organised by SME Bank in collaboration with the Department of Polytechnic and Community College Education (JPPKK), Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE). Thus far, it has benefited 1,692 students and our record shows that seven companies are still active and continue to run their businesses despite the COVID-19 pandemic and movement control orders two years ago.”

To make this program more relevant and reflect today’s business trend, emphasis is placed on the digital marketing aspect through the production of two business development videos.

These videos were uploaded on SME Bank’s Facebook with the aim of getting additional marks through the highest number of ‘Likes’. In total, the videos have received 52,078 ‘Likes’ and viewed 46,505 times.

Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn Bhd (CEDAR), SME Bank’s subsidiary has been appointed as the business coach for this program. The hands-on approach used by CEDAR ensures that participants apply the entrepreneurship and digital marketing knowledge that they have learned to their businesses.

Among the entrepreneurship topics that were covered by the finalists include presentation or pitching techniques, preparation of business reports and SWOT analysis.

SME Bank offers cash prizes totalling RM45,000 for the winners. The Champion of the competition takes home a cash prize of RM20,000, a challenge trophy and certificate, while the 1st Runner-up takes home RM15,000, a trophy and certificate and the 2nd Runner-up brings home a cash price of RM10,000 with a trophy and certificate of participation.

The selection of winners was made by a judging panel of experienced in entrepreneurship consisting of representatives from SME Bank, Department of Polytechnic and Community College Education (JPPKK), SME Corporation Malaysia, TEKUN Nasional, MARA, Bank Rakyat and SME Bank’s successful client. The winners are evaluated based on marketing, financial, management and technical aspects.

SME Bank 90-Days Biz Challenge participants will also be registered as alumni and will have access to various benefits such as participating in entrepreneurship programs as well as trainings provided by SME Bank and other Government agencies. Among the entrepreneurship programs that the alumni have participated in is the National Entrepreneur Week organized by KUSKOP.

The prize-giving ceremony was attended by the Secretary General, Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Cooperatives Development (KUSKOP), Dato’ Suriani Dato’ Ahmad, Senior Director of Competence, Department of Polytechnic Education and Community College (JPPKK), Roslee Yahya, Representative of Higher Education Director General, Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), Dr. Shamsuri Abdullah and the Group President/Chief Executive Officer of SME Bank, Datuk Wira (Dr.) Aria Putera Ismail.


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