AmBank BizRACE to help SMEs future-proof their business

AMMB Holdings Bhd’s () third season of its AmBank BizRACE was launched in July, with the aim of helping small and medium enterprises () future-proof their in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The three tracks of the competition — in the areas of Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0), digitalisation and halal certification — will provide participants with development as well as guidance to apply for various government grants and certifications available to SMEs today.

The IR4.0 track — targeted at manufacturing and manufacturing-related services — is suitable for SMEs looking to have better control and understanding of their manufacturing lines by being able to leverage data to improve their productivity and processes as well as drive growth.

AmBank managing director of banking Christopher Yap says there is a misconception among SMEs, which say that IR4.0 is very expensive. “That is why as a bank, we really aim to go beyond financing. We look at how we can aid them in accurately applying for the readily available government grants.”

As for the digitalisation track, AmBank will assist SMEs with the application process for grants from Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), which is offering up to RM200,000 to help them develop their digitalisation journey.

Yap says, “SMEs do not need to stop the bricks-and-mortar aspect of their business. Digitalisation strategies such as e-commerce will give them an additional revenue stream and allow them to reach out to customers, not only in Malaysia but across the world. With e-commerce, there are virtually no boundaries — you can get orders from overseas and you can ship to them.

Meanwhile, the Halal Quest track will allow SMEs to expand their business opportunities through halal certification. Furthermore, there are various untapped opportunities to be unveiled as consumers are now growing more conscious of responsible products and services available in the halal sector.

With this year’s theme of The Big Reset: Revive Your Business, AmBank is partnering key government agencies to further support SMEs by incorporating some of their grant and certification programmes into the competition. The agencies include the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti), Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade), Halal Development Corporation (HDC), MDEC and Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Negara (Jakim).

AmBank’s corporate partners — Bosch Rexroth, Microsoft Malaysia, Maxis, and PwC Malaysia — will be closely involved by providing participating businesses with the relevant support towards adopting IR 4.0, digitalisation and halal certification.

The third season of the AmBank BizRACE will run from September to March next year. In addition to guidance for grant applications and halal certification, prizes (worth up to RM2 million) include exclusive development training programmes and media exposure.

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