Malaysia sets aside $16M for female entrepreneurs to go online

The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia has allocated 50 million ringgit this year to encourage businesswomen to bring their companies on to the Web to expand their opportunities.

Malaysia is looking to encourage female entrepreneurs bring their businesses online by setting aside a 50 million ringgit (US$16.34 million) fund to help them make the leap.

According to Bernama's report last Saturday, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia has set up the fund for its entrepreneur development program under the Get Malaysian Business Online (GMBO) scheme. Deputy Minister Jailani Johari said this funding is for women between the ages of 18 and 65 who have a viable business product, it stated.

Johari added: "Those with such a business product will be given a one-off assistance of 1,000 ringgit (US$326.73). The support, available from January 1 to December 31, is part of the allocation by the government under the Budget 2013 through the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)."

There are no restrictions on the product traded but the business must have an annual income of less than 200,000 ringgit (US$65,345) to qualify for the one-time funding, the minister said.

A lot of female entrepreneurs in the country are yet to tap on the available funding for their companies, he said, adding the government wants to see the Internet being used as a positive means to expand their business networks.

Malaysia in February also announced it would be regulating the country's online business to raise confidence among consumers, and this would be effective July 1 this year.