The top 3 winners — ArtVenture with Sarah, a homegrown brand dedicated to helping children grow and discover fun through arts and crafts; Bondahaven, a breastfeeding specialist offering lactation consultation services and spa to mothers and Me Books Asia, a children bookstore aiming to make world-class education content accessible for children across Asia — were each rewarded with cash and prizes worth more than RM100,000 to take their business to greater heights:
- RM20,000 cash;
- 1-year AXA Business Advantage Plus (Enhanced) coverage worth RM 3,000;
- media coverage on MALAYSIA SME® business newspaper worth RM 59,000;
- RM 10,000 QU points on Qu-Exchange platform;
- 3 months personal business coaching by iCommunity worth up to RM13,500;
- RM2,000 Fundaztic Bonus on Fundaztic peer-to-peer lendingplatform and
- Preferential rate for SME financing by AFFIN Bank Group.
Launched in July 2019, AXA #TakeControl SME Challenge aimed to empower 3 most aspirational entrepreneurs with the skills, funding and know-how to take control of their business growth and future. Recognising the growing prominence of SMEs in the country’s economy, AXA is committed to play an active role in supporting SMEs throughout their journey, in line with its Payer-to-Partner strategy.
Emmanuel Nivet, CEO of AXA and also one of the panel judges, attributed the low coverage rate among SMEs to their lack of awareness on the need for business insurance and the mentality which does not prioritise risk. “With our experience, expertise and resources, we can create stronger awareness on risk mitigation topics among SMEs and offer the right solutions. We are proud to see how our contestants have grown and progressed throughout the Challenge. It shows more entrepreneurs are becoming aware of how they can find a reliable partner on business protection and risk management, while they focus on building and growing their business,” he said.
AXA #TakeControl SME Challenge was open to all Malaysian SMEs nationwide. Interested participants were encouraged to submit their business ideas online via www.axasme.com. 10 finalists were shortlisted to undergo a structured business coaching to refine their business idea prior to a final face-to-face pitch with the panel of judges consisting of Emmanuel Nivet, CEO of AXA; Syed Nahar Syed Harun, Deputy Director of SME Corp Corporate Management Division; Ferdaus Toh bin Abdullah, Deputy CEO of Affin Islamic Bank Berhad; Wayne Lim, Group CEO of Malaysia SME® Media Group and Gan Teck Hooi, Founder of ICFO Solutions.
During the ceremony, Emmanuel also commended the tenacity, passion and excellent business tactics
demonstrated by contestants during the Challenge.
“Selecting the top 3 winners was not an easy task given all the great business ideas that we had received. Each of our winner’s journey into business success tells a story fuelled by strong entrepreneurial spirit and vision, which we believe will serve as an inspiration for others follow. We look forward to their greater achievements and contributions, which augur well for our local community, business landscape and economy,” Emmanuel added.