Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women,Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah (centre) talking to Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu (right) while Deputy State Secretary Datuk Dr. Sabariah Putit (left) looks on. Photo: Ramidi Subari.

KUCHING: A total of 10,921 women entrepreneurs have applied for grants to help them recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

She said the current RM2 million allocation for the RM2,000 grant for each women entrepreneur was only able to assist 1,000 recipients.

“The Women and Family Department (JWKS) has received a total of 10,921 applications for the grant. I would like to request chief minister to increase the allocation so that more women entrepreneurs can be helped.

“This assistance is given to women entrepreneurs who have dropped out of the Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance (BKSS) 2.0 and Prihatin Special Grant (GKP) which require applicants to have a business licence and permit,” she said at the state-level Women's Day celebration at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) today.

Fatimah said her ministry had received approval from Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to convert the grant into cash form as a round capital for women entrepreneurs.

“These were the result of a survey conducted on 415 female entrepreneurs, where 295 or 71 percent of them have financial problems and are unable to continue their businesses, and a total of 234 people or 56 percent have lost their sources of income.

“This illustrated that many women entrepreneurs have been affected during the movement control order (MCO) and a round capital is needed,” she said.

The minister said with most of the entrepreneurs affected lacking business licenses and permits, her ministry decided to form a task force to help the entrepreneurs to register their businesses.

“The Sarawak Women Entrepreneurs Licensing Programme (PuWAS) has received encouraging response. From July 9 to Aug 24, a total of 4,190 registration applications have been received.

“So far, three registration sessions have been conducted and this programme will be continued in other districts,” she said.

>Sources: New Sarawak Tribune