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Goodies for entrepreneurs in 2017

By S. Gopinath

MANY entrepreneurs are marching into 2017 with a heavy heart; too many uncertainties, from currency rate to politics. Businesses everywhere are witnessing a slow tempo at the moment, will it prolong in 2017? We doubt.

While it’s common for human to worry over challenges, this one trait can indirectly hamper your growth. Always remember, that no matter how challenging the economy gets, if you are an alert opportunists, you will still be able to survive and make profit.

Following are allocations to financial institutions by the government to assist business owners from all races in 2017;


  • RM300m to Tabung Ekonomi Kumpulan Usaha Niaga (TEKUN) to assist small-scale entrepreneurs to develop their businesses including a new scheme TEMANITA for women micro entrepreneurs
  • RM200m for the Entrepreneurship and Business Premises Financing Programme through Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Berhad (PUNB)
  • RM200m for Working Capital Guarantee Scheme (WCGS) specifically for startups
  • RM200m loan financing by EXIM Bank to SMEs
  • RM150m for business financing programmes through Tabung Ekonomi Kumpulan Usaha Niaga (TEKUN) and Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM)
  • RM120m for MARA entrepreneurship programmes such as halal industry enterprises, youth entrepreneurship development and training
  • RM100m Export Fund under Unit Peneraju Agenda Bumiputera (TERAJU) for Bumiputera companies to penetrate international markets
  • RM100m to implement entrepreneurship programmes under AIM
  • RM100m to revitalize eUsahawan and eRezeki programmes under the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)
  • RM100m to SME Bank to increase opportunities for Bumiputera entrepreneurs
  • RM100m to enhance the viability of entrepreneurs and to expand their business capacity through SME Bank
  • RM100m for Peneraju Skil dan Iltizam, Peneraju Profesional as well as Peneraju Tunas through the Bumiputera Education Steering Foundation



RM522m allocated to the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) to focus on certain identified industries, i.e., chemicals, electrical and electronics and R&D activities.

Pay close attention to the new Secured Transaction Act and new Companies Act which will be implemented in the first quarter of 2017. Inputs from website will also be very useful for your market assessment. Your business should also be prepared for BEPS in the aim to promote tax transparency; build potential BEPS impacts into current tax planning, re-examine your supply chains, analyze current financing arrangements and communicate about the possible changes to other stakeholders.

In addition to the above, always be on the lookout for opportunities in the form of tender openings for vendors / suppliers in the following sectors as they have received quite a big chunk of share in the 2017 budget;


  • Sistem Maklumat Rekod rekod Jalan Raya Malaysia ( MARRIS )
  • Iskandar Malaysia
  • Northern Corridor Economic Region ( NCER )
  • East Coast Economic Region ( ECER )
  • Sabah Development Corridor ( SDC )
  • Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy ( SCORE )
  • Jiwa Murni Programme in Sarawak
  • Installation of 97k street lights and 3k LED light in 7500 villages
  • Construction of UTCs in Negeri Sembilan, Perlis, Pulau Pinang and Selangor
  • Construction of RTC in Selangor, Sabah and Sarawak.
  • 1Malaysia English, coding in schools, Global Entrepreneurship Community
  • ECRL, ETS, railway restoration along East Coast.
  • Sea Basing in the East Coast of Sabah waters and Helicopter Forward Operating Base
  • grant of RM5,000 to purchase new vehicles and offer individual taxi permits to 12,000 taxi drivers
  • Repowering of the Sandakan Power Station Project



  • MyFarmOutlets
  • Youth Agropreneur Development Programme
  • Malaysian Palm Oil Board




  • Initiatives in upgrading science laboratories, free tablets to assist in classroom, debit card replacing book vouchersPELAJAR SPM



  • International Currency Business Units ( ICBU ) – Income tax and stamp duty exemption
  • Insurance credit facilities with coverage up to RM 1bill by EXIM Bank to SMEs
  • One off bonus payouts to PRS contributors
  • BNM, EPF, MyDeposit, banks for PR1MA housing projects.



  • Broadband infrastructure for public universities
  • MDEC – ecommerce ecosystem, Digital Makers Movement
  • Launch of E-Free Trade Zone in March by Jack Ma



  • Build and upgrade new hospitals and clinics in Perlis, Kuching, Mukah, Jempol, Muar and Johor Bahru
  • operations of 340 “1Malaysia” Clinics, 11 “1Malaysia” mobile clinics, 959 health clinics and over 1,800 rural clinics
  • supply of drugs ; vaccines
  • upgrade hospital facilities including cardiology treatment equipment and the purchase of 100 ambulances


REAL ESTATE INCLUDE HOUSING – for contractors and home buyers attention

  • Stamp duty exemption on instruments of transfer and loan agreement for first-homeownership for the period 1 January 2017 until 31 December 2018
  • Construction of MyBeautiful New Home through the NBOS for B40




  • Pioneer Status and Investment Tax Allowance application till 31 December 2018
  • Increase in tax deduction to encourage private sponsorship of local and foreign arts, culture and heritage shows and performances
  • Extend eVisa to countries in the Balkans and South Asia regions
  • clean air and ecotourism initiatives


TRAINING & EDUCATION – for parents & students attention

  • Extend the double tax deduction for the Structured Internship Programme until Year of Assessment 2019 for students pursuing tertiary education. The double deduction will be expanded to include Malaysian students pursuing full-time vocational level education (Malaysia Skills Certificate Level 3)
  • Matching grants to Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions which successfully obtain assistance in the form of equipment from industries
  • transform nine Institut Pendidikan Guru (IPG) campuses into polytechnics and vocational colleges, including one for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) trainers
  • upgrade teaching equipment in TVET institutions
  • Skills Development Fund Corporation
  • RM50m to enhance graduate employability by extending the 1Malaysia Training Scheme (SL1M) for 20,000 graduates
  • The 29th SEA Games and 9th Para ASEAN Games in 2017
  • build and upgrade Youth & Sports Complex, 1Malaysia Futsal Complex and Community Sports Complex
  • Athlete and Paralympic Athlete Preparation Programmes
  • Construction of Football Academy Phase II in Gambang, Pahang
  • Elite Sports Podium Development Programme Various sectors


As mentioned earlier, do not just conclude that most of these information are not related to your field, instead, venture into possibilities for collaboration/ partnership to become the vendors / suppliers for these institutions and organizations related to these fields.

For example; if you run a printing business, you can look at collaboration with any of the training programmes, i.e, Young Agropreneur Development Programme and seek for opportunities in supplying stationeries, printed letterheads, official envelopes, certificates or even test pads to both organizers and participants.


Datuk S. Gopinath

If you are a legal service provider, you may approach the MyBeautiful New Home developers to become their legal advisor in drafting agreements and processing S&P documents.

Opportunities are everywhere if you are alert and seriously yearn to earn.

I personally urge the government to allocate special funding assistance for entrepreneurs who are planning to venture especially into ASEAN countries. Before we go global, we can look at opportunities in our neighboring countries first as the demand might be closely similar with our local market here. Please also look into special funds to assist aspiring B40 entrepreneurs; this is important in diminishing poverty in Malaysia by 2020.

“The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer “ Nolan Bushnell.

To do, and do big especially, it takes massive sacrifices and discipline. Here are a glimpse of my personal qualities and in fact, some of MUST-HAVE habits/qualities to realize your entrepreneurial dreams in 2017;

GOAL SETTING – set realistic goals with datelines. Break your calendar into sections ( weeks / months ) and set your long / short term goals accordingly. You must also start working on it immediately; boosting sales index, expanding marketing reach, R&D for your new innovation, etc.

Do not rest till they are met.

RIGHT HABITS – Visualize you in the next 5 years; how successful you want to be, nurture the kind of attitude you need to have now in order to be that person 5 years later. Improve your knowledge every day; it helps in making well informed decisions.

PLANNING & PRIORITIES – When everything seems to be important; delegate. It’s impossible for one to juggle with multitasking without help, once you have your priorities set right, focus on your most important goal and look for assistance from experts or technical team to look into other matters. Eg; if you are a pioneer / start up – your priority should be in establishing your product or service, get others to look into HR related matters or for admin/clerical jobs.

MULTIPLE STREAM INCOME – Nothing is certain. Always keep an eye on other industries which are flourishing, even if you can’t be actively involved, make a small investment and turn it into your passive income. Look into property investments seriously.

COLLABORATION – Seek for collaboration instead of focusing on personal wins. When we collaborate, more opportunities become visible. We are always stronger as a team; financially and in human capital.

BRANDING – You must be unique or you will die. The competition and the struggle is real. If you have nothing unique to brand, create one. Get subject matter experts guidance if necessary. Your brand must outlive you, that’s the goal.

FUNDING – get creative. Go for crowdfunding and venture capitalists. With technology, there are better ways to fund and validate your product. Learn the art of pitching.

My best wishes to each and one of you who are and will be venturing into business this year, may progress and abundance be ours now and forever. Happy 2017!

*Datuk S. Gopinath is the President of the Malaysian Indian Network of Entrepreneurs or better known as 1MINE.


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