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[ 21-07-2014 ]
SMEs urged to look beyond Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, July 5 (Bernama) -- Local entrepreneurs have been urged to expand their businesses beyond Malaysia and not be too comfortable with their domestic operations.

Making the call, property tycoon Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, chairman judge of the SME Innovation Challenge 2014, said Malaysian small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) tend to be too comfortable with their current business level given the various types of support by the government.

"They are easily satisfied with having a RM5 million market capital while the capital market of SMEs in Singapore and Hong Kong are in millions of Singapore dollars or US dollars.

"When you want to buy a piece of land in London, it will cost you 500 million pounds and with the RM5 million market capital, you are unable to make that purchase," he told reporters at the launch of the challenge here today.

Liew, who is also Eco World Development Group Bhd Director, urged entrepreneurs to scale up their businesses to drive the economy and help Malaysia achieve high-income nation status.

The competition, organised by Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd, kicked off today in conjunction with the Young Entrepreneurs' Conference 2014, where 20 finalists will receive mentorship from top business leaders and a chance to win cash prizes of up to RM600,000.

Meanwhile, online shoe seller Christy Ng, who bagged the RM250,000 grand prize at last year's challenge, urged SMEs to use the competition as their stepping stone in the industry.

"The SMEs will have nothing to lose if they join. Furthermore, it is a great platform to discover yourself and meet other great entrepreneurs," she said.

Ng said her company's sales and orders have doubled, with the majority coming from overseas such as the United States, Canada and Australia.

"We are confident that we will do better this year not only because of the fund, but also from all the mentorship, guidance and publicity.

"Whether you win or not does not really matter because there is still a lot to gain just by joining," she added.

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