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Malaysia’s women entrepreneurs kickstart their financial journey with KUSKOP and the ILO

In Business
May 17, 2022

The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives and the International Labour Organization have launched a new collaboration to organize a series of virtual events to enhance women entrepreneurs’ access to finance.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (ILO News) – The ILO‘s Rebuilding Better: Fostering business resilience post-COVID-19  Project and Malaysia’s Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (KUSKOP) have launched a new workshop series  on accessing external finance for women entrepreneurs.

The ILO and KUSKOP ‘Financing Business Growth for Women Entrepreneurs ’ series, consisting of five online sessions, will provide insights into accessing financial services and explore the processes and experiences involved. It aims to empower women entrepreneurs to take action and develop plans to finance the growth of their businesses. The series will improve women entrepreneurs’ knowledge of financial services available, guide them to identify options which are suitable to their business, depending on growth stage and business objectives, and build their confidence to apply for them.

The upcoming event, to be held on 19 May 2022, focuses on financing your business with bank loans. Malaysian bank representatives are invited to share information about their financial services and credit options available to women entrepreneurs. Participants will be able to learn more about the application processes and ask questions during the interactive session.

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of Malaysia’s economy, making up 97.44 per cent of all businesses in the country (1,226,494 establishments). Post-pandemic, one of the challenges to business recovery is access to finance. According to Dato’ Suriani binti Dato’ Ahmad, Secretary General of KUSKOP, “it is important for women entrepreneurs to be aware of all financial options available to them especially in these challenging times. This collaboration with the ILO is timely to assist women entrepreneurs in their business journey, in line with the National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 which seeks to empower the socioeconomic standards of various segments of society”.

“The ILO is very grateful for this cooperation with KUSKOP, which is aiming to connect women business owners with financial products and services that are suited to their business needs. This is an important initiative towards enhancing women entrepreneurs’ usage of financial services in Malaysia,” said Panudda Boonpala, ILO Deputy Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific.

Women entrepreneurs are less likely to use external financial services to fund their businesses, which often results in women-owned businesses being smaller in size or growing more slowly compared to male-owned businesses. In Malaysia, women-owned businesses constituted 20.6 per cent of the total number of MSMEs in 2015, of which approximately 93.7 per cent had fewer than ten employees. An ILO study  from 2021 found that women entrepreneurs in Malaysia sometimes lacked awareness and information on financial products and services available, had limited capital or did not know how to apply to access financial services.

The first event of the series took place on 17 March 2022, titled ‘Considering Your Financial Journey’, with expert speakers introducing women entrepreneurs to various financing options, and discussing how to prepare for accessing external finance. For this first session, the ILO and KUSKOP collaborated with Endeavor as a supporting partner, to invite women entrepreneurs Lennise Ng, CEO and co-founder of Dropee, and Melissa Sim, CEO of AdEasy, to share their experiences of fundraising. Their expertise demonstrated how acquiring finance can be a key stepping stone for growing a small business. Attendees were also able to interact with the speakers and each other to share their thoughts and concerns, and to discuss their financial plans.

The ILO and KUSKOP will be organizing the following additional sessions in 2022 which will present financing options available for entrepreneurs:
  • 19 May (2:00 – 4:00pm KL): ‘Financing Your Business with a Bank Loan’ (Register here )
  • 23 June (2:00 – 4:00pm KL): ‘Attracting the Crowds: Financing with ECF’ (Register here )
  • 21 July (2:00 – 4:00pm KL): ‘Pitching for Angels’ (Register here )
  • 25 August (Time TBC): ‘Taking Action: Developing a Financial Plan’ (Register here )
To stay updated and learn more information on the ‘Financing Business Growth for Women Entrepreneurs’ series, click here .

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