Once again Arthur Guinness Projects, in partnership with, the British Council, are proud to award six Malaysian social enterprises with the Arthur Guinness Projects and British Council Social Enterprise Award. They will receive financial and business support of up to RM240,000 to upscale their social business ventures to ensure sustainability of their social business models and to create a positive social impact in the community.
As part of the year long programme, they will receive up to RM40,000 each, depending on whether they are start-up projects or ventures at a more advanced stage in their development.
Gavin Anderson, Country Director for British Council Malaysia added, “The social enterprise movement around the world continues to grow. That success demonstrates how social consciousness, allied with a sustainable business model, is a profound and innovative way of finding solutions to pressing social and environmental issues, of generating sustainable economic growth and of delivering positive long-term change. We are proud to support this growing movement by providing a platform for budding social entrepreneurs to realise their dreams. In Year 2 of ‘Entrepreneurs for Good’, twelve social entrepreneurs have benefited from training with UK experts to develop and enrich their business proposals. I believe the six final winners we’re announcing today will be able to build their social business ventures to benefit their communities, and to inspire others to follow their path”.
“We’re proud to help these six social enterprises succeed and at the same time help society change for the better in communities across Malaysia. The Arthur Guinness Fund provides financial support with business mentoring to take projects and ideas to the next level”, said Bruce Dallas, Marketing Director of Guinness Anchor Berhad.
In addition to this, in March 2014, the programme launched its website www.arthurguinnessprojects.com.my to engage with the public, as well as providing a portal of information about all our finalists and current updates of their journey in this programme. We introduced a voting system for the public to vote their favourite social entrepreneur to receive the “People’s Choice Award”. The awardee will have an opportunity to receive further training from Social Enterprise Alliance Malaysia to hone their skills and develop their social business model, too.
The six winning social enterprises are:
- The Mad Experience - MAD’s aim is to reduce poverty in this region by addressing the specific social problems that make and keep people poor (commonly known as Millennium Development Goals). The focus is on providing essentials like food, water, sanitation, healthcare, education and access to credit. This is done by empowering everyday folk to raise funds for poverty alleviation projects and offer them an opportunity to meet the communities to see how they are making a difference. After identifying non-profit partners with a successful track record of operating in disadvantaged communities in Asia, we will visit them to run thorough checks to ensure that the funds raised will be used for the intended cause to start personal online crowd fundraising campaigns. We want to help non-profit partners stay sustainable by financing their projects through our fundraising. Finally, we would like to help the disadvantaged out of poverty by funding them.
- Ecocentric Transitions - Ecocentric Transitions aspires to build community through shared values, skills building and collaboration. We are also committed to cultivating an environmentally conscioussociety, promoting social change and supporting the goals of sustainable society. We are the go-to workshop provider for environmental education and sustainable living. We are aiming to raise the level of environmental empathy through hands-on activities in the areas of waste & resources, food security, environmental education and sustainable living (which includes appropriate technology). Ecocentric Transitions provides an opportunity for skills building and pre learning. We are also always available to facilitate community initiated projects.
- ShuttleGo - This idea came up in order to solve the “first mile problem” in public transport. This problem is prevalent amongst those who live within a 5km radius of their local train station and have difficulty travelling to the train station in the first place. ShuttleGo offers short distance, low density private shuttle services mainly to urban / suburban apartment dwellers Due to the short travel distance, the shuttle bus can run more often, which greatly minimises customers’ waiting time. Other beneficiaries are urban poor semi-employed youth who can be trained and groomed to drive and manage operations. This is a feasible solution to take the train and a reasonable alternative to avoid driving to work and going through the jam.
- Cleanbites - Cleanbites offers an introduction to healthy eating. This idea came up as most Malaysian food is unhealthy. It’s either too oily or too high in carbohydrates. There are some healthy choices, but they are either vegetarian, organic or vegan. Cleanbites serves delicious, healthy and balanced food. The main focus is to get people to eat more healthily by providing a convenient delivery service at lunch and a pickup system for breakfast.
- Catama Craft Enterprise - This enterprise works within Sarawak, in rural and underprivileged communities with female craft makers in particular to help them gain economic stability through the development of high quality, contemporary craft products. The enterprise is responding to a lack of mid to high-end contemporary craft products designed and made by Sarawakian artists. Catama also works with female craft makers from rural communities to explore, develop and prototype new products with a product designer. The crafts will be marketed and sold to local and international consumers. The profits will be shared with rural communities to provide women and their communities with economic stability. The enterprise also aims to ensure the preservation of traditional skills and knowledge.
- BYOB Green Concepts Sdn. Bhd. - The mission is to educate society about the dangers of plastic pollution and to stop people from treating this as rubbish. BYOB stands for Bring Your Own Bottles, an environmentally-friendly store built with the 3R concept (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). The whole point is to stop paying for plastic materials and instead to encourage people to bring their own bottles to our stores and refill them with household detergents. We aim to offer these services to household consumers, building management, institutions, public healthcare centres, local municipal councils, childcare centres and old folk’s homes, whilst reducing pollution and creating eco-responsible awareness.
People’s Choice Award :
- Tanoti Sdn Bhd - The aim of Tanoti is to save the ancient craft of songket weaving by making it relevant in today’s society and to empower womenfolk by equipping them with the skills of making a living, while sustaining their income by providing them access to markets. Tanoti is building a foundation to establish and sustain an entire industry surrounding handcrafted textiles. The core activity is running songket weaving workshops, with ancillary activities being the finishing and packaging of value-added songket products, marketing retail and sales, training new recruits and agents of Lurex threads. Tanoti has also developed a project with a Penan village community to bring their plaited products to larger markets.
Social entrepreneurs are people who seek to address a specific issue and try to meet the challenges in an innovative and creative way. The selected projects are committed to making a tangible impact by working to make society a better place for everybody.