KUALA LUMPUR, Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) has allocated a special fund of RM50 million to empower Indian women entrepreneurs through the Prosperity Empowerment and A New Normal for Indian Women (PENN) programme, announced Deputy Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives, Datuk Ramanan Ramakrishnan. He noted that the allocation utilises AIM's internal funds, and would benefit over 7,100 new Indian Sahabat Usahawan, increasing the total beneficiaries of the AIM Prosperity Loan Scheme to 10,200, including 3,100 existing individuals. Ramanan emphasised that AIM's initiative aligns with the aspirations of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to ensure that no citizen is left behind in the nation-building process. "I am confident in AIM's capacity to cultivate more micro-entrepreneurs within the Indian community through the PENN programme to enhance the nation's growth and economy. This initiative is another step in advancing, empowering, and enriching Indian women in alignment with Malaysia MAD ANI," he stated during the announcement of the fund at AIM's headquarters today. Also present were the AIM Board of Trustees chairman, Datuk Seri Syed Hussain Syed Junid, and managing director, Mohamed Shamir Abdul Aziz. Ramanan stated that applications for the PENN programme can be submitted from Monday (April 15) onwards at the 124 AIM Branch Offices nationwide. Indian women entrepreneurs welcomed the announcement as a boon, as the programme will assist them in enhancing their performance and expanding their businesses even more. Retail shop owner and AIM Sahabat Usahawan from Rawang, Selangor, S.Subratha Devisubramaniam, 45, said she intended to use the funds to open a new branch. "I'm very grateful for this assistance. It also shows that every segment of society, regardless of ethnicity, is not overlooked in accessing resources, especially for us small and medium-sized entrepreneurs," she said. Travel agent A. Krisnaveni, 39, from Selayang, pointed out that with the various forms of assistance provi ded by AIM and the government, women, particularly those of Indian descent, should seize the chance to venture into business. She emphasised the importance of Indian women stepping forward boldly to tap into their entrepreneurial potential, thereby creating avenues to enhance their income. Source: BERNAMA News Agency