Malaysia Top Destination to Start a Business

Despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, Malaysia still keeps its strong economic position in the region due to beneficial government initiatives. While the government’s main focus remains on rebuilding the nation and managing the virus, it also prioritises economic recovery by ensuring business continuity.

On June 28, 2021, the government announced the launch of Pemulih, an economic stimulus package that details the budget for wage subsidies, special grants for businesses, and other forms of financial support for the private sector. The following are some of the government initiatives that are helping businesses survive amidst this outbreak.

Wage Subsidy Programme

The government is committed to providing aid to businesses that have been negatively affected by the pandemic. It has allotted a balance of RM 6 billion for its wage subsidy programme to help employers pay for up to 2.7 million employees for the coming months.

Prihatin Special Grant

The Prihatin Special Grant was introduced in 2020 as a direct response to aid small to medium enterprises. As a result, the government was able to help up to 900,000 SMEs last year. This year, the government will provide an additional RM 1,000 for eligible business owners, distributed in two instalments worth RM 500 each in September and November.

The goal is to provide financial assistance to up to 1 million micro-entrepreneurs, particularly bakery owners, barbershop operators, and healthcare workers. With this grant, the government can help with their cash flow and reduce monthly finances.

Micro-lending Programme

Moreover, the government will continue the micro-credit financing programme with the added RM1.1 billion funding from local banks. Both Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) and AgroBank have contributed RM 500 million each, and National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund (TEKUN) has funded RM 100 million to this programme. Thus, in addition to the existing financial aid in 2021, micro businesses will have a total of RM 3 billion worth of micro-credit financing to restart their businesses.

Digitalization Programme

The government also plans to provide a total of RM 300 million to encourage micro-enterprises to enter into eCommerce platforms, provide SME Digitalization Grants for businesses to purchase digital products and empower the agro-entrepreneurs to use technology to enhance their operations. Through these efforts, the government aims to boost technological innovation and accelerate its digital economy.

Start a Business in Malaysia in these Thriving Industries

Whether you already have an established business or are planning to start one, the success of a private limited company in Malaysia depends on the type of industry you enter into and its relevance to the times.

This year, the most profitable and future-proof businesses are related to digitalization. Here are some business ideas thriving in 2021 and are expected to grow in the following years.

  1. eCommerce and Dropshipping

    The eCommerce scene is booming in Malaysia because everyone realizes the accessibility and convenience it offers. However, while eCommerce giants like Lazada and Shopee are taking over the platform, SMEs can still penetrate the market by delving into dropshipping.

    Dropshipping is an incredible eCommerce business because it doesn’t require high capital investment and offers low operational costs. In essence, dropshipping is providing consumers access to outsourced brands. Because of this, there’s no inventory and physical store needed. The only thing that’s required is reliable shipping software to succeed in this business.

  2. Virtual Assistance

    Another lucrative business idea is virtual assistance to provide companies with administrative services like bookkeeping, payroll management, and event planning when they need it. It also offers important skills like copywriting, media management, and customer service for more specialized company requirements. Virtual assistance provides unlimited possibilities for work opportunities and growth, making this one of the most profitable business ideas in the ever-growing digital world.

  3. App Development

    App development is also a significant business venture because there’s always available market share and unparalleled global reach. However, the only way to succeed in this type of business is to have programming skills and technical knowledge.

    Although developing an app is an excellent source of revenue, it can also be challenging. It requires coding, graphic design, and storytelling skills to stand out from the competition.


Regardless of the challenges posed by the pandemic, there are still several opportunities for businesses to thrive in Malaysia, especially in the digital sector. Moreover, with the economic stimulus package, SMEs can gain financial support to restart their operations and reduce their financial obligations. For these reasons, Malaysia remains the top destination to set up a business in 2021 and beyond.