Malaysia SME Government Grants for Business Growth and Marketing.

In this article, we will explore various Malaysia SME government grants available to local businesses to help fund and support their business growth and marketing activity.

The government grants are set to aid businesses, including SMEs to offset digitalization and marketing costs to remain competitive in the digitally evolving economy.

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The Internet has had a significant impact on all aspects of our life, including our professional, personal, and social lives. Businesses have been able to streamline, optimise, and improve their operations, value offers, customer experience, and acquisition thanks to digitalization and connectivity.

While some forward-thinking companies have managed to stay ahead of the curve, many others have yet to benefit from digitalisation and new marketing outreach strategies.

External market factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic have compelled the government to impose various variations of the Movement Control Order (MCO), making corporate operation challenging.

Traditional business operations and marketing activities such as face-to-face interaction, live events, and in-person experiences have been replaced with online alternatives due to necessity.

Businesses have been forced to evolve and adapt to stay afloat. It will be unsustainable to run a traditional business in this gradually changing world if businesses fail to adapt. 

Businesses often do not invest in marketing or business expansion prospects due to cash flow issues or a lack of capital. 

Malaysian businesses, fortunately, can take advantage of a variety of grants and subsidies to assist offset costs.

The grants, unlike bridging loans or short-term financial assistance, are not intended to save ailing enterprises. Most grants aim to help businesses grow and scale.

Below is a breakdown of various Malaysia business grants that can provide funding support for marketing, digital marketing, and market access for small and medium enterprises:

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The government is actively pushing for more local enterprises to move quickly into the technological arena, as evidenced by the favorable provisions for digital adoption included in the 2020 Budget. MDEC SME Digitalisation Grant was introduced in 2020 and is still ongoing.

This government grant is targeted towards SMEs and ‘Koperasi’ in Malaysia that are looking to evolve and apply digitalisation to help propel their business. 

This grant is focusing on 7 Key Digitalisation Areas which are:

    • Digital Marketing and Sales
    • Electronic Point of Sales (E-Pos) System
    • HR Payroll System / CRM
    • Procurement
    • E-Commerce
    • Remote Working
    • ERP / Accounting and Tax.

Under the MDEC SME Digitalisation grant, the Malaysian government will provide a 50% matching grant of up to RM 5000 per company for the subscription of digitalisation services, as mentioned above.

SMEs/’Koperasi’ may apply this grant for ONE time only and the maximum matching amount will be RM 5000 for any of the services (maximum of 3), combined. 

This grant is only available to the first 1000,000 SMEs/’Koperasi’ who apply.

How to Apply for MDEC’s SME Digitalisation Grant:

Step 1

Contact one of the TSPs from the above list based on the digitalization service you are interested. You can choose up to 3 different digitalisation services from different TSPs if required.

Discuss your needs with them and request for a proposal and quotation based on the services you require.

If you are satisfied with the proposal and quotation, appoint the TSP to work with you on the project. The TSP should also guide you in the SME Digitalisation Grant application process.

Step 2

Download the SME Digitalisation Grant application HERE.

Step 3

Prepare the following supporting documents along with the grant application:

    • Completed SME Digitalisation Initiative Application Form.
    • A copy of the Identification Card or Passport of Director (s) / Partner (s) / Proprietor(s) of the SME / Applicant appointed by the Coop, whichever is applicable.
    • A copy of the SME’s business registration licenses (CCM or any similar forms under the Companies Act 2016). For Coop, a copy of SKM registration certificate.
    • Latest audited financial statements or latest financial management account statements or the SME/Coop bank statement for the latest two (2) months.
    • Quotation/invoice for the selected digitalisation services from the Service Provider listed by MDEC; and
    • Any other information and documents as and when required by the bank.

Step 4

Complete and submit the application form together with the required supporting documents to the TSP.

The TSP will submit the application form together with the supporting documents to the Bank.

Step 5

Once the application is approved, the applicant is responsible to pay the 50% from the total invoice or more which Bank will only make payment 50% or up to RM5,000.00 to the Service Provider.

Eligibility Requirements for MDEC SME Digitalisation Grant:

To qualify, SMEs are expected to:

    • Be registered under the relevant laws of Malaysia.
    • Be owned by at least 60% Malaysian.
    • Have a track record of operation for at least 6 months; and
    • Has minimum average annual sales turnover of RM50,00

This is a new grant that not many Malaysian businesses might know about. The Digital Growth Subsidy is the first digital marketing funding of its kind for Singapore and Malaysia companies to grow and succeed in the digital economy.

The subsidy supports up to 50% of digital strategy and marketing costs for eligible businesses.

The goal of DIGS is to help small & medium Singapore & Malaysia companies improve their business fundamentals to increase brand awareness, leads, and sales in the digital economy. Projects under the subsidy will be funded up to *50% of digital strategy and marketing costs for eligible businesses (*MYR15,000).

The Digital Growth Subsidy in Malaysia is administered and executed by Evolve & Adapt PLT (Malaysia). The scheme is a commercial initiative supported by Grow Digital Pte Ltd (Funded by Enterprise Singapore Start Up Founder Program).

There are four digital strategy and marketing projects available under DIGS. Each project is designed to fulfill a specific marketing objective:

    • Positioning & Branding
    • Website Design & Basic SEO
    • Enhanced SEO
    • Social Media Marketing & Online PR

How It Works :

The applicant must first choose which project best fits their company strategy before contacting Evolve & Adapt. The feasibility and viability of the application will be evaluated, and the outcome of the subsidy will be announced within two working days.

For more information and if you are interested in DIGS, you may click HERE.

Eligibility Requirements for The Digital Growth Subsidy (DIGS)

    • Be a Registered Business in Malaysia (Sole Proprietorship, PLT or Pte Ltd/ SDN BHD)
    • Have at least 30% Local Shareholding
    • Have Less than 50 Employees OR Annual Revenue of No More than MYR 15 Million

The DIGS team reserves the right to approve/ reject an application at its absolute discretion.

MyDigitalWorkforce Work in Tech (MYWiT) is a programme that encourages businesses to hire Malaysians by offering digital upskilling and reskilling opportunities. Through compensation and training incentives, this project assists businesses in hiring digital talent.

MYWiT gives job seekers the chance to land a digital job with a fast-growing company while also receiving training for in-demand digital skills.

There are two programmes under MYWiT – Digital Business Services (DBS) and Digital Tech Apprenticeship.

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Digital Business Services (DBS)

The DBS programme has been tailored to improve Malaysians’ digital literacy and abilities to combat the country’s rising unemployment rate.

This is accomplished through collaborations with firms in the rapidly growing DBS industry, to promote Malaysia as an investment destination.

The DBS initiative aims to reduce unemployment by focusing on the fast-growing DBS industries, thereby promoting Malaysia as a desirable site for digital investments.

The following are some of the benefits:

    • 40% of monthly salary for 6 months (minimum salary: RM2,000), and Up to RM5,000/pax training subsidy for In-house training (a minimum of 40 hours of training)
    • OR Sign up for Work and Learn courses listed on MDEC’s Digital Skills Training Directory HERE.
    • Incentives are reimbursed to the employer.

Among the areas of focus are Finance & Accounting, Procurement, Sales & Marketing, IT Support, Content Moderation & many more. Kindly refer to Industry Skills Framework (IndSF).

Digital Tech Apprenticeship (DTA)

The DTA programme provides opportunities for unemployed workers to upskill and reskill to improve their eligibility and equip them with the skills needed to succeed in the most in-demand tech jobs, such as data science, software development, and cybersecurity.

Unemployed workers can use the DTA programme to upskill and become qualified for high-demand digital employment in fields like data science, software development, and cybersecurity.

The incentives include:

    • RM1,200/month salary for 6 months and
    • Up to RM8,000/pax training subsidy for “Career Upgrade” courses listed on MDEC’s Digital Skills Training Directory HERE.
    • Incentives will be reimbursed to the employer.

Focus Areas include Data Science, Cybersecurity, and Software Development.

How to Apply for MYWiT Grant:

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STEP 1

Apply HERE.

STEP 2

Hire candidates and select suitable training within TWO months.

STEP 3

Submit supporting document for MDEC’S approval.

STEP 4

Obtain MDEC offer letter, upon approval.

STEP 5

To claim:

    • Training Incentive: Upon training completion.
    • Salary incentive: Upon completion of 3rd and 6th month of employment.

Along with the grant application, prepare the necessary supporting documents: 

    • The logo of the company. It will be utilised to list job openings on the program’s website.
    • Copy of latest Audited Accounts (2019 onwards). A copy of latest audited account must be dated and certified by Commissioner of Oath/ Company’s Secretary / Company’s Auditor. For company operating less than 1 year, please upload the Company’s Latest Management Account.

Submission for Approval Closing Date:

*There is no closing date for the qualifying stage.

    • Batch 2 – 31st May 2021 at 1800
    • Batch 3 – 30th June 2021 at 1800
    • Batch 4 – 31st July 2021 at 1800

Employer’s Eligibility Criteria:

    • Incorporated in Malaysia.
    • Minimum capital: RM20,000
    • Not subjected to liquidation/winding up order.
    • Not dormant.
    • Not a public-sector, federal, state statutory body or local authority’s (PBT);
    • No relations to a board of directors, shareholders, or employees of MDEC.

The Market Development Grant (MDG) is a reimbursable grant that provides help to businesses. The MDG was established in 2002 to aid exporters in their efforts to market Malaysian-made goods and services around the world.

MDG has a lifetime maximum of RM300,000 and is designed exclusively for Malaysian SMEs, Professional Service Providers, and Trade and Industry Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Professional Bodies, and Cooperatives.

What Activities are Eligible for Grant Funding?

Physical Events:

    • Participation in International Trade Fairs or Exhibitions held in Malaysia/Overseas.
    • Participation in Trade & Investment Missions (TIM) or Export Acceleration Missions (EAM).
    • Participation in International Conferences Held Overseas.
    • Listing Fees for Made in Malaysia Products in Supermarkets or Hypermarkets or Retail Centres or Boutique Outlets Located Overseas.

Virtual Events:

    • Participation in Virtual International Trade Fairs In Malaysia Or Overseas.
    • Participation In Business To Business (B2B) Meetings Related To Virtual Trade Investment Missions And Export Acceleration Missions.

How to Submit a New Application of Claims or Request for Reimbursement Of Expenses?

All completed applications MUST be SUBMITTED ONLINE through MATRADE’s website.

NOTICE: As of 28th May 2021, the Activities below has been suspended until further notice:

1. Logistic costs of sending Malaysian products overseas.

2. Financial compensation for postponements or cancellations of trade promotion events.

For more information and to apply, please click HERE.

Eligibility Requirements for MDG:

    • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
    • Professional Service Providers (Sole Proprietor or Partnership)
    • Trade & Industry Associations, Chambers of Commerce Or Professional Bodies
    • Co-operatives

Please note that to be eligible, you need to be a registered MATRADE member.

One downside of this grant is reimbursements are subjected to the availability of government funds.

LOANS & FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR MALAYSIA SMES.

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This article focuses on grants and funds to assist Malaysian SMEs in growing. However, if your company does not qualify for any of the awards, and just to be thorough, here is a list of bridging loans and short-term financing options:

Offers quick and no-fuss financing for Bumiputera and Indians minority in Malaysia.

Government Guarantee Schemes offer SMEs an option to supplying collateral.

Budget 2021 initiative to provide financial assistance to Bumiputera micro and small businesses.

The Government established the Young Entrepreneur Fund (YEF) as part of its ongoing strategy of acculturation and the rise of new entrepreneurs among Malaysian youth.

TIPS ON APPLYING FOR MALAYSIA SME GOVERNMENT GRANTS FOR BUSINESS GROWTH AND MARKETING.

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Do Your Research!

Make sure to conduct thorough research. If you are reading this, that means you are off to a good start! It is important to find out relevant information especially on what fits your business or industry.

Contact the Right Person.

Next, once you have gone through the research, do not waste time. If you have any doubts, clear them out by contacting the right person. This could be someone from the government agency or any related personnel.

Fulfill All the Requirements for The Application Process.

The next step will be to ensure that you fulfil all the requirements of the application process. If it requires a proposal, get it ready. It is crucial to make sure all your supporting documents such as business registration or financial statements are up to date and ready.

Be Transparent and Accurate.

Do not exaggerate or omit facts. The authorities are disbursing both public and private funds. Hence, they take this very seriously. If they discover you overstated your successes or hid critical information, you will almost probably not be awarded a grant, and your business reputation will suffer as a result.

How to Leverage the Grant?

Now that you have gone through all the steps and you are approved, it is time to put the plan into action! Make sure you have a clear guideline on how to leverage the grant accordingly. Remember, the grant is not a lifeline, but a stepping stone. Use it wisely.

WHICH MALAYSIA SME GOVERNMENT GRANTS FOR BUSINESS GROWTH AND MARKETING FITS YOU?

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The process of applying for a grant to fund your business can be intimidating. However, we hope this article on Malaysia SME Government Grants for Business Growth and Marketing, has provided value and important information that will aid you in your journey to securing funding support for your next projects.

If you need more help, feel free to reach out to us, Evolve & Adapt to discuss how to leverage an appropriate grant.

We are a certified management consultant in both traditional marketing management and digital marketing. You can arrange a no-obligation chat by sending a message through the chat box at the bottom right corner of your screen or fill in the form below.

We wish you the absolute best on your journey!

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Sabrina Rafiz

As a marketing research analyst, Sabrina gathers critical data, market intelligence, and vital information that lays the foundation for strategic planning and content development. Sabrina is formally trained in Mass Communication and is Google and Hubspot-certified in digital marketing, as well as SEMrush-certified in SEO & content marketing.

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