Scores of people turned up at the Publika shopping centre in Sri Hartamas earlier this month to learn more about what social enterprises can do.
The Arthur Guinness Project (AGP), in collaboration with British Council “Entrepreneurs for Good” Wave 1 programme, saw the first six Malaysian social entrepreneurs receive training and funds.
More than RM240,000 in funds was given out to the recipients as well as mentoring and business support.
During the launch of the first AGP Social Enterprise Marketplace here, Guinness Anchor Bhd marketing director Bruce Dallas said people can create social impact through their choices for things ranging from the food they eat and the clothes they wear, to landscaping, home improvement, business development services and the gifts they buy and give.
“That’s what we want to showcase here. We want to inspire people to do their bit for the community through their purchasing decisions because it can contribute significantly and create positive social change in their communities,” Dallas said.
The event also showcased four social ventures that received the funds.
“The programme has inspired us to contribute towards the community and it has created a brilliant platform for us to turn aspirations into ideas and ideas into reality,” said Biji Biji Initiative chief executive officer Rashvin Pal Singh.
The event also marked the start of Wave 2 which will see another six local social projects awarded with funds as well as mentoring and business support.
British Council country director Gavin Anderson said the programme offered training and mentoring skills, along with access to UK expertise, peer networks and start-up funding.
“In Wave 1, we engaged with a network of talented and passionate social entrepreneurs who grew their businesses, created employment opportunities and had a positive impact on their beneficiaries.
“We are looking forward to meeting that next cohort of social entrepreneurs in Wave 2,” he said.
To select the next batch of successful applicants, a panel will be evaluating what they think are inspiring projects that have elements of innovation, creativity, achievability, as well as cultural and social good.