KUALA LUMPUR: Social enterprise Biji-Biji Initiative won the coveted Tan Sri Entrepreneurship Award of RM250,000 at the Alliance Bank BizSmart Academy SME Innovation Challenge 2014 Grand Finale Awards Ceremony last Friday.
The competition, in its second year, had 20 finalists from various industries undergo a month of structured business coaching, which included sessions with corporate magnates Mydin’s Datuk Wira Ameer Ali Mydin and EcoWorld director Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, who contributed the cash award.
Biji-Biji Initiative builds sustainable design concepts by way of green technology, effective waste management methodology and creative upcycling of discarded materials.
“We work in an inclusive and collaborative way as we believe that supersedes competition and promotes innovation,” Biji-Biji co-founder Gurpreet Singh Dhillon told StarBiz, adding that it would invest the prize money into more tools and machinery for its business.
Liew said the judging process was based on the participants’ passion, proof of their entrepreneurial spirit and observation of how they overcame difficulties.
“The degree of their moral values and a sound business plan were key to me,” Liew said. “I would personally invest in some of these businesses.”
First and second runners-up were tea purveyor Johor-based Chaiwalla & Co Kuala Lumpur-based online and retail Muslimah fashion merchant EightDesigns (EDZ), who won RM150,000 and RM100,000 in cash prizes respectively.
Social enterprise wins RM250,000 in Alliance SME Challenge