Alliance Bank Announced 13 Young SMEs for SME Innovation Challenge

Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad (“Alliance Bank”) today hosted its first-ever Alliance Bank BizSmart Academy Young Entrepreneurs’ Conference 2013 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The Conference provided an opportunity for aspiring and existing young entrepreneurs to gain insights from successful business leaders and social-entrepreneurs who are making an impact through their business ventures.


“The Young Entrepreneurs’ Conference 2013 covers a broad spectrum of entrepreneurial themes; these themes reflect the mutual concerns that young start-ups, digitally-savvy technopreneur and 2nd-generation SME owners assuming responsibilities of the family business have,” said Steve Miller, Executive Vice President and Head of Group Business Banking.


Conducted in an inspiring “TEDx-style” manner, the Young Entrepreneurs’ Conference 2013 featured an impressive and knowledgeable line-up of speakers comprising both seasoned industry leaders such as Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Liew Kee Sin of SP Setia Berhad Group, social enterprise guru Roshan Thiran of Leaderonomics, and rising stars from Malaysia’s vibrant young entrepreneur community such as Low Ngai Yuen, Head of Kakiseni.com; Lim Li Lian, international franchise guru; and Ee Soon Wei, heritage preserver, the Royal Press Malacca. The speakers shared their experience and realities of being an entrepreneur in a challenging and changing world.

The Young Entrepreneurs’ Conference also featured a technology knowledge sharing session facilitated by Microsoft Malaysia showcasing technological innovations that SMEs can adopt to accelerate their businesses, as well as a human capital knowledge sharing session by jobsDB Group.

In conjunction with the Young Entrepreneurs’ Conference, Alliance Bank also announced the 13 selected participants of the BizSmart Academy SME Innovation Challenge. They are Biotree Biotechnology, Bloc Forty Eight, Christy Ng Shoes, Fru t Pop, MuayFit, myBurgerLab, Redtick, Smooshie Juice, Tapway, TextBookAsia.com, Softinn Solutions, HighrisePro and The Last Polka.

“We were extremely encouraged by the quality of the submissions as it indicated that Malaysia’s entrepreneurial spirit and drive is thriving,” explained Miller. “We had a strong nationwide response and the submissions that we received were from a diverse range of industry sectors including bio-technology, e-commerce, retail and food & beverage.”

The 13 high-potential young SMEs were selected from hundreds of submissions received online over a one-month period. The selected participants will undergo structured business coaching and training in Blue Ocean Strategy to help them fine-tune their business strategies and uncover new market opportunities to tap into. They will also be mentored by top business leaders the likes of Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Liew Kee Sin, CEO & President of the SP Setia Berhad Group, be exposed to widespread media and branding opportunities, receive training in recruiting and developing the right talents for their business by jobsDB Group, and supported with new technology solutions from Microsoft to revolutionise their business.

In November 2013, the three (3) selected finalists with the best business plans will proceed to the public voting phase, followed by the identification of the winner in December 2013. The winner will receive RM250,000 funding to implement the winning business plan, a visit to Microsoft’s Centre of Excellence, complimentary Microsoft Office 365 subscription, a year-long recruitment services’ package worth RM25,000 which includes premium employer listing and feature in its newsletter from jobsDB Group, exclusive radio interview and a featured article in a mainstream publication.

“We are indeed privileged to be partners in this initiative in a meaningful manner.   A company’s greatest asset will always be their people and jobsDB is in a position to understand, strategise and map out an effective plan to meet the SME’s human capital needs through the use of effective technology platforms.  We will work closely with the winner to map out a year-long programme and a summarised version for the 12 other selected participants, including hosting a jobsDB workshop for this initiative,” said Adrian Chng, CEO of jobsDB Group.

For more information about the Alliance Bank BizSmart Academy and/or to follow the progress of the 13 selected young SMEs as they embark on their SME Innovation Challenge journey, please visit www.BizSmart.com.my.


About Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad

Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad is a dynamic, integrated banking group offering end-to-end banking and financial solutions through its consumer banking, business banking, Islamic banking, investment banking and stockbroking businesses, having served the financial community over the past five decades.

The banking group is involved in the provision of financial services through its principal subsidiaries, Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad, Alliance Investment Bank Berhad, and Alliance Islamic Bank Berhad. It provides easy access to its broad base of customers throughout the country via multi-delivery channels which include retail branches, Privilege Banking Centres, Islamic Banking Centres, Business Centres, Investment Bank branches, and direct marketing offices located nationwide, as well as mobile and Internet banking.

*NextupAsia is an event partner for this event.