ETIQA Insurance recently launched its new corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme, Socially and Economically Empowered Development or SEED, to help women and youth from poor families to be financially independent.
The programme seeks to provide them the opportunity to acquire entrepreneurial and technical skills aimed at starting a business, to expand a current business or become employed.
“Etiqa’s SEED programme will help develop a more successful society by assisting struggling communities through combating unemployment or retraining those who have to use their entrepreneurial skills to provide for themselves,” said Maybank Ageas Holdings (the parent company of Etiqa Insurance Bhd and Etiqa Takaful Bhd) chief executive officer Kamaludin Ahmad.
“We want to assist underprivileged women and youth so that they can be more empowered and more in control of their destiny and lead a better life. This programme is very much in line with Etiqa’s humanising brand promise,” he added.
“We are fully aware that women need help, and this is why one of our target areas of focus is women,” added Kamaludin.
SEED will focus on lower-income and poor women and youth specifically, and is divided into three programmes throughout the year, each lasting four months.
The participants will undergo a structured training and coaching programme in the areas of entrepreneurship, marketing and financial management to give them a better understanding of the running and managing of a business.
They will then select an area to specialise such as baking, sewing and fashion design, creative designs, computer and mobile phone repair.
“We are confident that a programme as complete as this will interest participants in setting up and running their own business,” said Kamaludin.
After the entrepreneurial and technical training, the participants’ progress will be monitored and they will be able to seek advice from the trainers.
“This year, our target is to assist 360 individuals, consisting of 150 women and 210 youth from around the country. We hope our programme will have a lasting positive impact on their lives,”he added.
The Etiqa SEED programme is conducted in partnership with two NGOs – myHarapan and Yayasan Pendidikan Vokasional Wanita Malaysia. These organisations mainly help those from marginalised rural and urban communities, by improving their economic and employment prospects.