Samenta Malaysia has urged the government to redirect its attention towards nurturing unicorn and quasi-unicorn status among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The association highlights the potential of high-growth SMEs to contribute significantly to the nation’s economic landscape and recommends channeling startup funds and government support towards these promising entities.
15 September 2023 – The Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Samenta) Malaysia has called upon the government to shift its focus towards nurturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into unicorns and quasi-unicorns, emphasizing the potential for these high-growth SMEs to yield greater benefits for the nation. In a bid to strengthen the SME sector and enhance competitiveness on a global scale, Samenta proposes diverting startup funds and government interventions towards SMEs with the capacity for substantial expansion.
Samenta’s National President, Datuk William Ng, noted that previous efforts within the startup ecosystem often resulted in acquisitions by larger players, with the resulting profits being channeled overseas. To address this issue, Ng suggests that the government should concentrate on facilitating export-ready SMEs by providing tailored support for market linkage, branding, and packaging design. Additionally, he advocates for encouraging venture funds and government-linked companies to co-finance SMEs in merger and acquisition activities. This approach would not only bolster supply chain integration but also create larger SME entities capable of competing on regional and global scales.
Ng emphasized that established SMEs are not only less risky investments but also play vital roles in global supply chains. These SMEs can provide greater stability compared to startups with uncertain futures. Furthermore, Ng supported the government’s focus on high-growth, high-value industries, highlighting the potential benefits for SMEs by participating in enlarged supply chains.
To support SMEs in their journey towards greater productivity and competitiveness, Samenta has been collaborating with the Malaysia Productivity Corporation over the past three years. Their efforts aim to drive automation, digital adoption, and a mindset shift towards focusing on labor productivity, profitability, and competitiveness among SMEs.
Additionally, Samenta applauded the government’s plan to prioritize the creative industry and design-led SMEs. Ng suggested the consideration of a matching grant for packaging design and branding to help SMEs evolve from being original equipment manufacturers to becoming brand owners while simultaneously supporting the creative industry’s growth. – reference: Bernama