Alliance Islamic Bank launches social crowdfunding platform

From left: Datin Paduka Che Asmah Ibrahim, CEO of Yayasan Kebajikan Negara; Tunku Puan Sri Noor Hayati, Ketua Wanita Perkim and founder of Yanas; Gafino Arshad, head of Islamic operations of Alliance Islamic Bank; and Umar Abdullah Mahmud Munshi, managing director and founder of Ethis Ventures.

KUALA LUMPUR: Alliance Islamic Bank Bhd launched its first social crowdfunding platform, SocioBiz, to create greater socioeconomic impact for the financially disadvantaged.

The AIS’ SocioBiz platform, with the tagline “Empowering Communities through Entrepreneurship”, targets individuals seeking to raise funds to start or expand a business, or learn a new life skill to earn a sustainable livelihood. 

Alliance Islamic Bank had signed a memorandum of collaboration with Islamic fintech venture builder, Ethis Ventures Malaysia, and beneficiary partners, Yayasan Kebajikan Negara (YKN), Yayasan Noor al-Syakur (Yanas), and Pertubuhan Kebajikan Islam Malaysia (Perkim).

The bank's CEO Rizal Il-Ehzan said the platform was to provide an ecosystem where people can channel their donations to empower individuals to be economically independent through businesses.

Funds sourced through this platform will be used to help individuals be financially independent either through starting or growing a business, or through acquiring new skills.

“This charity ecosystem also seeks to address two key challenges for donors and recipients, i.e. the transparency of the overall allocation and distribution of funds sourced for charity, and the credibility of the cause or recipient,” he said.

Rizal said this was one of the projects as the bank sought to channel zakat in a meaningful manner. 

“Our role is to connect communities to viable and sustainable financial solutions. For the first year, 100% of the funds sourced will be channelled to the recipients as AIS will bear all the administration fees. 

“This will enable individuals seeking funding to leverage on this opportunity at no cost to them. This year, we aim to help raise up to RM240,000 for the different campaigns. We also pledge to match the contribution raised from the public,” Rizal said. 

Ethis Group and Ethis Ventures managing director and founder Umar Munshi the partnership with the bank would bring to the community a social crowdfunding platform under, which integrates Islamic finance principles. 

“Through partnership, we offer donors and recipients an innovative and transparent platform to connect. We hope to inspire more donors and financial institutions to partner with us and create an impact on other areas of need within our communities,” he said. 

Alliance Islamic Bank's SocioBiz’s targets to identify and promote at least two recipients each month on the platform. 

In future, the SocioBiz platform will include social enterprises that are focused on elevating or improving social or environmental issues, start-ups, and SMEs.

To-date, SocioBiz has rolled out six campaigns, and raised over RM23,000 through its platform. 

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