Platform for social entrepreneurs

(From left) Kornreich, Yasmin and Alliance Islamic Bank chief executive officer Rizal IL-Ehzan Fadil Azim launch the Eco-Biz Dream Project.

ALLIANCE Bank Berhad recently launched the third instalment of its Eco-Biz Dream Project in collaboration with the Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia). which is under the purview of the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry (Mestecc), and non-profit environmental organisation EcoKnights.

The five-month programme for tertiary students is part of the bank’s overall corporate social responsibility initiative. It provides a platform to nurture budding social entrepreneurs who will one day develop solutions to improve the lives of the Malaysian community.

Now in its third year, this edition of Eco-Biz Dream Project competition will see tertiary students from 20 universities around Malaysia competing to propose a sound and sustainable business solution to address an environmental, economic or social issue. The theme revolves around the revitalisation and protection of a stretch of the Kerayong River corridor in Kuala Lumpur.

Students will receive intensive guidance and mentoring from the Eco-Biz Dream Project trainers and coaches in the areas of Business Model Canvas, design thinking, and innovation of social entrepreneurship throughout the project. Training will be provided by the Asia School of Business in collaboration with MIT Sloan Management.

“Alliance Bank has been operating in Malaysia for over five decades. We continue to work with local communities to identify areas where the bank can bring together industry experts to provide guidance to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“This year, we are taking it one step further. The bank, via Alliance Islamic Bank, will commit to help bring to life the winning proposition,” said Alliance Bank group chief executive officer Joel Kornreich.

The materialisation of the winning idea will be part of Alliance Islamic Bank’s value-based intermediation initiative.

Through a collaboration with experts and active advocates on the topic of environment and sustainability, Eco-Biz Dream Project 3 will deliver an integrated and holistic education to the students.

“EcoKnights is very excited to be Alliance Bank’s strategic partner again for the Eco-Biz Dream Project, and to help materialise the winning idea for 2018.

“The competition has evolved over the years. I hope competitions like these will help our next generation think big and sustainable when crafting business solutions for the city,” said advisor and chief judge of Eco-Biz Dream Project Yasmin Rasyid. She is also the founder and president of EcoKnights.

“Building green mindsets from young is key to the success of our nation. These students are our future sustainable leaders and workforce, be it as entrepreneurs or within the small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” added GreenTech Malaysia chief strategic communications Elina Jani.

Kornreich said efforts like these are the core of the bank’s vision to build alliances to improve lives.

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