The government is stepping up on its initiative to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to make their leap to the digital era. To help enable this, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has introduced the #SMART Automation Grant (SAG).
According to Bernama, chief executive officer Surina Shukri said SAG, which is part of the government’s Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana), takes a partnership approach between the government and SMEs to drive forward digitalisation for Malaysian businesses.
MDEC believes SAG will be necessary for many businesses in the services sector. Most are struggling to survive and many are looking to do more digitally to overcome the negative impact COVID-19 has had on their operations and income generation.
“The introduction of the grant is timely as it will give SMEs the support needed to take that digital leap into the Fourth Industrial Revolution era,” she said.
MDEC said SAG is an outcome-based grant whereby projects must achieve specific digitalisation benefits. This includes increased revenue, savings in business costs and reduction in process life cycle and man-hours.
Below are several requirements businesses need to meet to qualify for SAG:
Surina added that SAG is available for 50% of the total project costs or up to a maximum grant cap of RM200,000, whichever is lower. Successful applicants need to invest the balance of the 50% since SAG is a matching grant.
She added that beyond enabling businesses to be more sustainable, the initiative would also help them discover new sources of revenue growth and market expansion. To increase their chances of obtaining the SAG, SMEs in the services space are encouraged to participate in programmes such as 100 Go Digital and Digital Transformation Acceleration Programme 2.0, which are run by MDEC.
Businesses in retail, wholesale, food and beverages, tourism, logistics, transportation, education, healthcare, real estate and financial services are encouraged to apply. Interested in applying for the grant? SMEs can check their eligibility at MDEC’s website.