The accomplishments of numerous recipients of the Indian Community Entrepreneur Development Scheme (SPUMI) under the National Entrepreneurial Group Economic Fund (Tekun Nasional) and Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia demonstrates the government's commitment to empowering the Indian community. SPUMI's financing is not mere rhetoric; it actively empowers the Indian community to become entrepreneurs and boost their income, proving to be genuinely beneficial. This was acknowledged by seamstress M. Premalata, 50, who was widowed during the COVID-19 pandemic, a tragedy that prompted her to seek financing to support herself. "In 2020, I decided to venture into the tailoring business. But it was very challenging for me to sustain the business, especially during COVID-19. Then I found out about SPUMI and decided to apply. I never expected it to be approved. "From then on, I expanded my business by purchasing the necessary equipment to provide quality services and products to my customers," she told Bernama here today. The mother of one praised the government's initiative and said she did not face any difficulty in applying for the financing because the process was straightforward. She said that she obtained a capital of RM8,000 from SPUMI to provide her family with a stable monthly income. "I strongly encourage the Indian community to take advantage of this government initiative," she said. Another beneficiary, J. Kalaichelvan, 34, who works in the construction industry, highlighted that SPUMI helps to significantly raise the socio-economic status of the Indian community due to its comparatively low interest rates and simplified procedures compared to conventional financial institutions. "I became aware of this financing because I keep up with current developments, and I believe it's a good initiative. I am almost done with the repayment," he added. As of March, SPUMI has financed 28,808 Indian entrepreneurs, disbursing approximately RM450.5 million. On April 3, Deputy Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative s, Datuk R. Ramanan announced an additional allocation of RM30 million under the SPUMI Goes Big scheme. This scheme is open to all entrepreneurs registered with the Inland Revenue Board and will prioritise larger financing amounts ranging from RM50,000 to RM100,000, along with other facilities provided through the ministry's agencies. In contrast, N. Thenmoly, 33, who owns a small grocery shop, said she did not opt for SPUMI but instead utilised other government financing options provided by Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia to expand her business. She emphasised that the agencies affiliated with the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives have significantly supported her business, and she now earns RM2,000 per month. "I have applied for loans twice under Amanah Ikhtiar, first RM5,000 in 2019, Then after paying it off this year, I borrowed another RM7,000. Before that I did not have enough capital and inventory. "This funding has been very beneficial. But unfortunately many in the Indian community ar e not aware of it. I found out about it through a friend. 'The application process is straightforward, requiring only basic documents like a business license, ID card, photos of the shop, and a guarantor. The Indian community should take advantage of these government facilities," she emphasised. She added that it took only about a week for her application to be approved. Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia offers financing through the Ikhtiar Financing Scheme, catering to micro and informal entrepreneurs with loan amounts ranging from RM3,000 to RM30,000. Source: BERNAMA News Agency