PETALING JAYA: All is not lost for unbanked and underbanked women entrepreneurs, as MADCash, short for “Multiply, Assist and Donate Cash”, is an initiative that provides up to RM20,000 interest-free funding to those who need to start or upgrade their micro- businesses.
The micro-funding program aims to empower B40 women entrepreneurs to improve their income and credit standing.
Madcat World managing director Nuraizah Shamsul Baharin said it is difficult for women to get bank loans until today.
“If you’re running a small business, a micro-entrepreneur, and you’ve never had a bank loan, you don’t have a credit card with the bank, it is almost impossible for you to get funding.
“Even for myself, I’ve been running a business for 15 years, and because we are an IT business, we don’t have any collateral. So when we wanted to get a bank loan, the bank says that we are not bankable because we don’t have any real collateral. In order for me to get that bank loan, I have to put my personal liabilities.
“I have got to put everything that I own on the line even though we are ‘Sdn Bhd’, where we’re supposed to differentiate our business from our personal life,” she said during a webinar held by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor last Saturday.
These micro-entrepreneurs need a bank loan to have a relationship with the bank so that when they need help in the future, they already have a credit standing, Nuraizah said.
Unfortunately, according to Nuraizah, some people use their credit cards or, worse, go to loan sharks to fund their business.
“One of the reasons why we started what we do is to stop people from going to Oh Long (loan sharks). If you need money for your business come to us,” she pleaded.
In terms of repayment, MADCash has had 0% non-performing loan. Where necessary, the program gives various support to borrowers through mentoring, advisory sessions, and short training to make sure they can be a good paymaster.
The loan is served through a weekly payment of up to 10 months. All repayments are channeled back into the fund to be upcycled to the next qualified individuals to create an ecosystem of “women funding” and “growing women”.
In future, where relevant and feasible, qualified women entrepreneurs may choose to enter into a profit-sharing arrangement instead of interest-free loans, according to its website.
Besides that, the program exposes micro-business owners to digital finance, such as digital banking, e-wallet, and digital payments.
Interested individuals and organizations that would like to contribute to the program can do so by donating, providing mentoring, or becoming a partner.
By donating as little as RM100, you can be part of a solution that aims to impact 1 million lives by 2024,” said Nuraizah.