ALOR SETAR – The Rural and Regional Development Ministry is targeting the participation of 10,000 people, including entrepreneurs, in its Building Leaders & Entrepreneurial Society (BLESS) programme to be carried out in six zones across the country this year.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, said through the programme, with the first hosted by Kedah today, the ministry hoped to meet more entrepreneurs in the East, Central, South, Sabah and Sarawak zone.
”Our main aim is to create awareness on entrepreneurship through seminars and courses. They are booth where they can apply for funds and for those keen to penetrate international markets with their products, we provide advice and counseling,” he said.
He told reporters this after observing the on-goings at the North Zone 2018 BLESS at the compound of Grand Alora Hotel near here today.
BLESS is a programme that offers a complete entrepreneurial ecosystem, encompassing entrepreneur development, business development and support.
It involves the participation of entrepreneurs from six business clusters, namely food and beverage, agriculture, lifestyle, health and beauty, information and communication technology(ICT) and services.
BLESS serves as s one-stop centre for all activities by MARA, he said and called on the public to take advantage of the opportunities provided with MARA allocating RM455 million in funding through 10 to 12 schemes under the agency.
He said as of now, there were 62,000 MARA borrowers.
Ismail Sabri said MARA also had a special fund, involving RM35 million, for women entrepreneur development or DANA Nita, with only RM5 million utilised so far.
About 1,500 rural entrepreneurs in Kedah. Perlis, Perak and Penang attended the two-day programme which began today. – BERNAMA