Over the past decade, the Government of Malaysia has become increasing aware of the significant contribution of small medium enterprises (SMEs) to the national economy. A number of Government programmes and incentives were offered to the SMEs in the past years but with limited impact. This lecture touches on the nature and contribution of the Malaysian SMEs in the first five years of the 21st century. An attempt was made to identify the success factors and weaknesses of SMEs from official reports of Government agencies, and findings of research studies on the subject. Recognising the challenges posed by globalisation and trade liberalisation on the Malaysian SMEs, the Government revamped its policies, programmes, incentives, and approaches which are currently implemented in the Ninth Malaysian Plan and the Third Industrial Master Plan. The objective is to enhance the SMEs' capacity and capabilities through continuous product development, knowledge and technology acquisition to empower them to compete with other global players offering high quality products and services at competitive prices.
Malaysian SMEs challenges and strategies SME programmes entrepreneur's success factors business linkages case examples