The amount of financing under the RM45 million Graduate Entrepreneur Fund has been increased to RM500,000 from RM250,000, and up to RM750,000 for the buy-over of a company.
Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Mukhriz Mahathir, said this is effective today.
“I hope these attractive offers are taken up as fast as possible,” he said at a media briefing after the launch of 1Malaysia Young Entreprenuers Challenge.
Mukhriz said the ‘cooling-off period’ has been extended up to 48 months from 24 previously and the repayment period for the building and business building was up to 20 years.
The qualifying age for applicants has been raised to 40 from 35.
The easy loan scheme was launched under the 8th Malaysia Plan, with an interest rate of between two and four per cent, he said.
“The first challenge of a business is capital. If this is taken care and the sacrifice eased, then it will lead to the growth of more graduates in the small and medium enterprises sector,” he said.
He added that the previous conditions of financing under the fund were not so conducive to business because of their slightly too stringent conditions.
“We found that in practical terms, not many companies could benefit from them. Therefore, we have negotiated with SME Bank to restructure the financing conditions,” he said.
The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) aims to produce more graduate entrepreneurs to meet its Key Performance Indicator.
“The graduates have to attend a [training] programme before they are entitled to the financing,” he said.