The Alliance Bank-EcoWorld BizSmart Challenge, an entrepreneurial programme presented by Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad and Eco World Development Group Berhad, returns for the sixth season to help business owners take their business further.
Since its inception in 2013, the BizSmart Challenge has provided business training, coaching, mentoring, networking, brand exposure, and financing to business owners.
Over the years, it has received over 1,700 submissions and empowered over 130 finalists in their entrepreneurial journey. “The BizSmart Challenge is a platform to help entrepreneurs grow their business further. We are proud of the businesses we have given exposure to in the past, and look forward to extending more opportunities to other high potential SMEs this year,” said Joel Kornreich, Group Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Bank.
“This year, we have improved the prize quantum to over RM1.5 million in cash, product sponsorships, and media coverage prizes. The reality TV business challenges will also be made accessible to more viewers via TV3. After the BizSmart Challenge has ended, we will extend up to RM5 million in collateral-free financing, and assign a dedicated SME Banking Advisory team, to help the Top 20 finalists with their entrepreneurial journey,”he added.
Eco World’s Chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said, “EcoWorld is delighted to be part of the BizSmart Challenge for the sixth year. This unique partnership in being able to meet young and determined entrepreneurs, and seeing them grow in their journey to success, has been very fulfilling indeed.
It is also exciting to see the accelerated growth of our alumni, and we Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad look forward to nurturing and mentoring a new batch of young SMEs achieve their full potential.”
The mentor line-up comprises Malek Ali, Founder of BFM89.9 and Ernest Kwong, Head of Group SME Banking at Alliance Bank. They will provide hands-on coaching during the reality TV business challenges to the Top 10 finalists, and lend perspective and guidance on the finalists’ business plans and strategies. The BizSmart Challenge judges are Joel Kornreich and Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin.
For the first time, the BizSmart Challenge introduces Instagram Story Business Pitch where participants can bring their business pitch to life in video format. This is a creative and innovative way for finalists to improve their chances of being selected in the Top 20 as part of their submission.
The BizSmart Challenge welcomes participation from all SMEs registered in Malaysia that have been in operations between 1 and 5 years, with an annual turnover of less than RM50 million. Entrepreneurs of all ages, language, and business industries are encouraged to submit their application online no later than 6 February 2020 at www.bizsmart.com.my.
How BizSmart Challenge Helped Chriszen Malaysia Elevate Its Brand
A year since winning the championship title of BizSmart Challenge 2018, Ms. Mandy Leong, Founder of Chriszen Malaysia Sdn Bhd, has successfully elevated her brand.
During the year, Chriszen developed a new range of skin care products, and expanded its brand line-up to include personal care items, rolling out 69 new products.
The homegrown skin care company increased its sales by RM1 million after doubling its shelf space at the local pharmacies with the BizSmart Challenge cash prize, and added five new skin care products at 200 Guardian pharmacy locations nationwide.
Chriszen has diversified its revenue stream by going into TV Home Shopping Channels, and collaborating with celebrity make-up artist Muabellaz to launch a new series of products.
The BizSmart Challenge is presented in collaboration with BFM 89.9-, Manulife Insurance Berhad, Visa Malaysia, Media Prima TV Networks, Celcom Axiata Berhad and Katchi Group Sdn Bhd.