Kuala Lumpur: Entrepreneur development agency Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd (PUNB) is seeking a RM125mil allocation to finance various programmes this year to promote bumiputra entrepreneurship, said chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Nasir Ahmad.
Of the amount, RM40mil is to fund a new entrepreneurship programme, called Wholesaler Entrepreneur Scheme, which encourages bumiputras to venture into wholesale business in sectors such as retail and motor vehicle.
“We are targeting 15 applications this year and have already received at least one application since the scheme was launched in January,” he told reporters after the official opening of PUNB's seminar on “Managing cost towards dynamic business” yesterday.
The balance of the allocation, being sought as soft loan from the Finance Ministry, will be channelled into PUNB's small and medium-scale industries (SMIs) Entrepreneurship programme, Bumiputra Entrepreneurs for Retail Sector projects (Prosper) and Prosper Graduate scheme.
From 2002 to 2005, PUNB received allocations of RM60mil for its SMI programme and RM40mil for Prosper.
Nasir said that since PUNB's inception, a total of 98 SMIs had been established, with the involvement of 360 bumiputra entrepreneurs and investments worth RM350mil.
Prosper also developed 2,000 entrepreneurs and some 900 retail projects costing RM238mil. So far, Prosper has received more than 3,000 applications.
Nasir said PUNB had recorded a 60% failure rate for its SMIs, while projects under Prosper suffered 10%–12% failure rate.
He said PUNB had fully recovered some 30% of its loans.
“For companies that are still surviving, we are restructuring and helping them to turn around. For those which have closed shop, we have taken legal action to deal with their outstanding loans,” he added.
PUNB, which started operations in 1992, provides financing, corporate support, monitoring services and training for entrepreneurs.
Prosper on the other hand was launched in 2000 to create middle-level retail bumiputra entrepreneurs.