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Case study Asia: Serving the micro-entrepreneur

Case study Asia: Serving the micro-entrepreneur

Association member Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) in Malaysia BSN Micro/i scheme works

 

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​BRUSSELS, 18 June 2018 – Malaysian microentreprise Bangkit Kenari manufactures and trades traditional “kuih” or homemade biscuits. Located in Yan, a district in the state of Kedah. A family-owned enterprise, started by Bangkit Kenari, a single mother , she went from door-to-door selling her baked delights in order to support a family of five.

Years later, Norzamira Zakaria, who is the eldest of her four children, recalls that she would go around with her mum after school to help sell the biscuits to neighbours and other villagers.  The experience she gained from these trips motivated her to continue her mother’s tradition of baking and selling biscuits. In addition, the demand for the traditional biscuits from fellow villagers prompted her to grow the business further.

Ms. Norzamira in 2001 started managing the business full-time. She realised then that the traditional way of baking biscuits would not be able to cater her growing customer base.  Her plan to expand the business faced a stumbling block, however, as she found it hard to obtain financing for her small and informal business with the lack of record keeping and no business acumen. 

The turning point: BSN Microfinancing

That changed in 2009, when Ms. Norzamira decided to consult BSN and applied for BSN Micro financing for a sum of RM 20,000 (US$ 5,000) [1] to upgrade her home-based business to a workshop complete with baking equipment. In line with our mandate and desire to help Malaysians – especially the underserved segments – BSN approved Mrs. Norzamira’s financing scheme, which also offered a short course on basic book keeping.

Today, after almost 40 years since Mrs. Norzamira’s mum single-handedly managed the business, Bangkit Kenari Enterprise has expanded to two new stores in Yan, diversifying too by providing catering services. She also grew the product offering to the local community. From an enterprise of five employees – she, her siblings and her mother – the business has now expanded to 18 staff covering a variety of traditional biscuits and snacks.
Ms. Norzamira’s is one of many Malaysian’s whom BSN has helped in line with our vision of “No Malaysian left behind” and the bank's brand promise of “a better life within your reach”.

BSN microentreprise scheme works: helps women, low-income people

BSN Micro/i scheme has greatly assisted many micro-entrepreneurs in giving funds to expand their business and seize new opportunities in the markets. As of 2016, BSN had 45 Business Financing Centres located across the country assisted by more than 115 Business Relationship Officers in providing capacity building assistance and advisory services. The average size of the loan disbursed to micro-entrepreneurs is about US$6,000-7,000. The microfinance scheme is also actively assisting of the women entrepreneurs-especially those in the lower income group as 35%-40% of BSN Micro/i customers are made up of women business persons. BSN is the largest provider of micro financing among financial institutions under the national micro-financing initiative as it holds 53% market share of the micro-financing industry.

As of 2016, BSN had 45 Business Financing Centres located across the country assisted by more than 115 "Business Relationship Officers" in providing capacity building assistance and advisory services. The average size of the loan disbursed to micro-entrepreneurs is about US$6,000-7,000. The microfinance scheme is also actively assisting of the women entrepreneurs-especially those in the lower income group as 35%-40% of BSN Micro/i customers are made up of women business persons. BSN is the largest provider of micro financing among financial institutions under the national Micro Financing initiative as it holds 53% market share of the micro financing in the industry.

[1]  Exchange rate of US$1 = RM4

Microfinance; Microcredit; SME finance