KUALA LUMPUR (March 7): Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro entrepreneurs must prepare themselves through the adoption of digital technology to face the new business landscape, especially after the Movement Control Order is over, said Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

“This is because we cannot simply assume that the situation will return to normal after the Covid-19 pandemic ends,” he said during a townhall session with the Kelantan Association/Chamber of Commerce today.

The minister was quoted as saying this in a statement issued by SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp), the central coordinating agency under the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative Ministry (MEDAC).

Wan Junaidi noted that the Covid-19 pandemic had indirectly boosted the use of technology in our daily lives, with digitalisation being an important element not only to revive existing businesses, but also to promote new start-ups.

“Covid-19 has changed our lifestyle, and with limited physical movement, the use of digital applications is increasing. This situation has encouraged and catalysed the use of information technology,” he said.

Last year MEDAC, through SME Corp, facilitated 7,851 micro enterprises, including Bumiputera entrepreneurs, to adapt digital technology (e-commerce) in their business operations under the Micro Connector Programme. 2 Micro Connector Programme is a continuous initiative by SME Corp to develop micro enterprises and household communities under the Bottom 40% income (B40) category.

This programme aims to provide early stage assistance to micro enterprises, as well as the B40 community to acquire new skills and generate income through entrepreneurship.

Today’s townhall session was held to gather feedback directly from entrepreneurs in Kelantan. Based on a census conducted involving 907,065 SMEs in Malaysia, a total of 46,260 or 5.1% of registered SMEs operate in Kelantan.