Participants of 1Azam (Poverty Eradication) programme who have been identified and selected will qualify for the higher-level ‘Beyond 1Azam’, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.

The ‘Beyond 1Azam’ programme to be launched in September will include those selected from the 93,172 participants in the 1Azam, depending on their monthly income, interests and products.

For a start, 2,000 people will be selected and given assistance in the form of micro credit from micro-credit scheme providers and commercial banks, skills training and additional equipment to expand their businesses.

“I would love our products to go global but we have to select. We want them to go global and go far. So we want people who are confident, spirited, determined, hardworking and creative,” she said in a media briefing on ‘Providing Economic Empowerment Through 1Azam Programme’ held at her ministry, here Tuesday.

On the 1Azam programme, Rohani said from January 2011 until March this year, 140,976 people had participated in the 1Azam programme, with about 65 percent or 91,290 participants who were women.

She said 66.1 percent of the total participants or 93,172 people earned an income of at least RM300 for three consecutive months.

“From December 2009 until December 2013, the ministry with the cooperation of Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia trained and developed 5,300 women entrepreneurs who had a monthly income of RM3,500 for three consecutive months,” she said.

Introduced in 2010, the 1Azam programme is an initiative of the government to help people with low incomes become independent through various programmes such as Azam Niaga, Azam Khidmat, Azam Kerja, Azam Tani, and Azam Bandar which were introduced last year.

To apply, participants must register with eKasih, which is a database for poor families, created to assist, plan and monitor poverty-eradication programmes.

Conditions for eligibility include a monthly income of less than RM1,000 (rural) or RM1,500 (urban).

Of the 140,976 participants in the programme, 77,742 or 55 percent are Malays, 3,813 or 2.7 percent Chinese, and 5,709 or four percent Indians.