Grants And Trainings For F&B SMEs To Weather Through This Pandemic

Digitalisation For F&B Industry

Many Malaysian’s small- and medium-scale businesses have been affected by the pandemic

It cannot be denied that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) hard. One of the industries that are affected the most includes the food and beverage (F&B) industry.

As a consequence, F&B SMEs in the country have had to stop their dine-in services as per the government’s orders. Many have gone fully digital instead and opting for delivery services too. 

In fact, the failure to go digital can result in business loss. 

A paper by the London School of Economics (LSE) published last October pointed out that more and more businesses worldwide have taken up digital measures in response to the shortfall of traditional resources of revenue, stating: “As more business establishments digitalise, firms that are left out of this digital revolution will struggle to survive, let alone thrive.”

The Workshops And Training

There are free workshops and training available to help to upskill SME

In August recently, the Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia (SAMENTA) organised a free webinar together with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn Bhd (MDEC) and the Selangor Information Technology & Digital Economy Corporation (Sidec). 

These organisations explained the financial assistance, training and knowledge that F&B businesses can sign up for in order to go digital.

100 Go Digital Coaching Workshop

This is a series of workshops that will guide SMEs (F&B, retail, services, logistics and professional services) as they undergo the digitalisation process. Such SMEs will be offered tips, practical guidance on the curated digital solution packages that are easy and fast to deploy, as well as recommendations on the next steps to take. Through these workshops, SMEs will obtain the perfect coaching on digitalisation, knowledge of digital strategy and an improved understanding of the digitalisation process.

Register now at

SME Digital Guidebooks

The SME Digital Quick Guide and SME Digital Guidebook are the first points of reference for SMEs interested to undergo digitalisation. The guidebooks focus specifically on the F&B industry and provide a step-by-step guide, as well as provide readers with the knowledge of the latest trends that are impacting SMEs in the digital economy.

The SME Business Digitalisation Grant

This initiative was launched during Budget 2020. The Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced that it will allocate 50 per cent matching grants for SMEs of up to RM5,000 per company. In total, the grant is worth up to RM500 million and will disburse over 5 years, limited to the first 100,000 SMEs.

This grant is a partnership between Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) and MDEC, who will both assist MOF to manage the grant disbursement.

Some of the criteria for SMEs to apply for the grant include:  at least 60% Malaysian ownership, at least 6 months of operation at the time of the grant application and the SME must have a minimum average annual sales turnover of RM50,000.

The grant covers 7 digitalisation areas: digital marketing/sales, electronic point of sales (e-POS) system, human resources payroll system, procurement, ERP/accounting and tax, e-commerce and remote working.

For more information, visit

MDEC eCommerce initiatives: eUsahawan and PEDAS 

1. The eUsahawan programme 

Under this programme, more than 400,000 Malaysian businesses and entrepreneurs have been trained since 2015, in areas such as using Facebook for business, copywriting, managing websites, using mobile applications, logistics, payment getaways and many more. More than RM700 million eCommerce sales have been recorded and it deploys more than 2,000 teachers and trainers nationwide.

It is a one-day programme that can be done online or face-to-face. It is conducted in English and Bahasa Malaysia, requires no fees and offers 3 months of post-training eCommerce sales tracking.

Among the success stories from this initiative are small-time entrepreneurs Ms Natalie Wong Yee Tong, 24, from Penang, and Ms Maisarah binti Mohamed Maliki, 27, from Pahang.

Ms Natalie started her packaging business in 2018. Through eUsahawan, she has gained more knowledge on digital marketing and as a result, she has been able to identify her target market better and create quality content for promoting her business. Her business has since recorded a 200 per cent increment.

Ms Maisarah started her F&B business in September 2020 and said that eUsahawan has boosted her sales after she gained skills in using Facebooks ads, Google ads and doing copywriting. Her business has seen a 250 per cent sales increment.

For more information, visit

2. Perkhidmatan eDagang Setempat (PeDAS)

PeDAS is an initiative that helps rural entrepreneurs on how to use eCommerce. It uses existing government facilities such as Pusat Internet Desa (PID) as PeDAS centres. The initiative is supported by various organisations, such as Shopee, ELokal and the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), and many more.

There are 32 PeDAS centres nationwide. The initiative has trained more than 5,000 rural businesses and entrepreneurs, and more than 4,000 rural-based businesses have been onboarded onto eCommerce via this initiative.

The scope of training include:

  • Digital marketing
  • Market adaptation
  • On-site support for product profiles and documentation
  • Three months of tracking and monitoring on business and sales performance
  • Personal training and guidance programme for six months (selected participants)
  • Business matching with selected e-commerce strategic partners.

 For more information, visit


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