Funding Societies: 2023 Budget a Strategic and Sustainable Boost for SMEs

KUALA LUMPUR, 7 OCTOBER 2022 – Funding Societies welcomes the 2023 Budget announced by YB Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul bin Tengku Abdul Aziz, Malaysia’s Minister of Finance, at the Dewan Rakyat this afternoon.

Representing the largest SME digital financing platform in the country and in Southeast Asia, Chai Kien Poon, Country Head of Funding Societies Malaysia, remarked, “We laud the 2023 Budget crafted with responsive, responsible, and reformist policies. This comes as the Malaysian and global economies anticipate strong headwinds next year. The various grants, incentives, and assistance announced will support our small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to not only weather through the challenge looming on the horizon but to thrive after the pandemic. As a key FinTech player in the nation, we look forward to continuing to support the national agenda by serving more creditworthy, underserved SMEs.”

“The additional RM30 million funding allocated to the Malaysia Co-Investment Fund (MyCIF) for ECF is a reflection of the Government’s unwavering confidence in digital financing as a major enabler for the emerging social enterprise segment and further drives the country’s sustainability agenda. Funding Societies is fortunate to be working with the Securities Commission (SC) to raise funds for qualified social enterprises under the MyCIF P2P program,” Chai continued.

One of the most encouraging incentives announced in the 2023 Budget is the one-off RM1,000 grant (with RM1 billion in total value) for all registered SMEs which will benefit approximately 1 million businesses. Additional measures include the various grants and allocations such as the RESET and Working Capital Schemes through Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad (BMPB), as well as the RM200 million allocation for Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Berhad (PUNB) to operate the entrepreneurship development program and financing, and RM9 billion injection into the credit guarantee scheme for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) under the Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan Berhad (SJPP), among others. Additionally, the 100% stamp duty exemption for financing restructuring or rescheduling agreements until 2024 and income tax reduction from 17% to 15% for SMEs would help them to preserve or improve their cash flow, which is the lifeblood of all businesses.

“Participation of the next generation of entrepreneurs is crucial for economic growth. With RM305 million allocated to encourage more youth participation in business, Funding Societies welcomes this positive growth. Similarly, in light of the Sustainable Development Goals to empower women, the RM235 million allocated to the development of female entrepreneurs shall further stimulate a balanced growth of SMEs in Malaysia,” added Chai.

“Overall, this Budget covers many critical areas. First, to provide sound support to the SMEs as we transition into the endemicity phase. Second, it encourages the participation of Malaysian youths in entrepreneurship. Finally, the Budget continues SMEs future-proofing as well as enabling wider access to capital,” Chai concluded.