SME Bank Bhd is targetting to approve financing worth RM176 million for the state of Sabah this year, with RM60 million of that derived from the sixth edition of the Sabah Region Mini XCESS 2017. “Sabah Region has always been one of our focus areas and since the opening of our branches in Kota Kinabalu and Tawau, we have approved more than RM1.7 billion worth of financing and assisted a total of 1,727 customers. “For this year, we are targeting to approve financing worth RM176 million to the small and medium enterprises (SME) entrepreneurs in Sabah,” said its group managing director Datuk Mohd Radzif Mohd Yunus in a statement today. “The annual outreach programme is one of our efforts in resolving issues pertaining to access to financing and the response from SME entrepreneurs thus far have been very positive. From January to now, we have engaged with some 1,500 SME entrepreneurs and Kota Kinabalu is the second last venue before we conclude the first series programme this year in Bintulu, Sarawak, scheduled to take place on 11 April 2017.” The top three economic contributors in Sabah are services at 40.5 per cent, mining and quarrying at 25.7 per cent and agriculture at 22.5 per cent. SME Bank Sabah Regional Centre operates with three network of branches namely Kota Kinabalu Enterprise Centre, Tawau Enterprise Centre and Kota Kinabalu UTC. In the effort to improve its customer service delivery, SME Bank has recently launched the Book Your Banker facility in its Mobile Application enabling entrepreneurs who are interested to apply for financing to register online, set the date of the appointment and choose the branch of their choice. SME Bank’s Mobile App can be downloaded through App Store or Play Store under the name SME Bank. Since its establishment in 2005, SME Bank has approved a total financing amounting RM26 billion and assisted more than 15,000 SME entrepreneurs. The Bank’s Upward Migration programme has successfully upgraded more than 800 SME businesses to a higher level. Meanwhile, CEDAR or Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn. Bhd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SME Bank, has successfully coached more than 34,000 participants in various SME entrepreneurial training programmes.