Wednesday January 18, 2012
MCA’s micro credit scheme a timely helping hand for the young
The Star Says
THE young and the brave with an entrepreneurial spirit will now have another avenue to seek funds to start new businesses or boost existing ones.
The 1MCA Micro Credit for Youth is a welcome angpow of sorts to herald the Year of the Dragon.
The programme is targeted at those between the ages of 21 and 45 and will offer a maximum credit limit of RM20,000 per applicant at 7% interest, repayable over five years.
And in the true spirit of 1Malaysia, this programme is open to all Malaysians in this age category.
Youth currently involved in non-governmental organisations and political parties, and those who are single parents, will get extra credit points in the evaluation process.
Also, the applicant’s political affiliation will not be held against them. They just have to prove that their business proposal is valid and has a good chance of success.
One can deduce that this is premised on the belief that those who are socially convicted and are passionate about issues of the day can also channel their energy and creativity into worthwhile business ventures.
As MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek puts it: “It doesn’t matter what party they belong to. This fund is not set up for political purposes but to train more Malaysian youths to be entrepreneurs.”
The scheme is timely because there is a tendency to look at the global economic outlook and feel pessimistic about our own local business environment. But it is precisely at times like this that we need entrepreneurs, especially from among the youth, to be bold and innovative to drive economic activity and be catalysts of change.
And any form of financial assistance is always helpful because anyone who has desired to enter the business world knows the importance of some seed capital to kick off the process.
Yet it is not always easy to get the necessary loans from financial institutions because of their tough demands, which may include comprehensive business plans and profit projections.
But those who understand what makes business tick know that those who dare to dream sometimes need someone to just open up windows of opportunity to make such dreams come true. To be sure, there may be occasions when dreams can become nightmares, but that should not deter us from lending a hand.
It is to the credit of the MCA that it is prepared to set aside RM40mil for the scheme, which will be administered by the two cooperatives under the party – Koperasi Jayadiri Malaysia Berhad and Koperasi Serbaguna Malaysia.
Not only are funds made available, but the scheme will also include giving successful applicants free courses on how to start a business, tax planning and legal implications.
There will also be opportunities to share success stories and expand one’s business network through this scheme.
And that is how it should be.
As the Chinese proverb goes: “If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime.”