The Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre Social Entrepreneurship (MaGIC SE) has announced nine recipients of the Amplify Awards, recognising social enterprises that address pressing challenges in Malaysia.
The award, which comes with a grant of up to MYR150,000 each, also acts as a platform for the selected social entrepreneurs to scale up their enterprises. In total, MaGIC is awarding MYR1.3 million ($300,000) to the selected social entrepreneurs.
The nine recipients are a good representation of social enterprises focusing on socio-economic activities, agriculture, women empowerment, development of underserved groups, upcycling and preservation of natural resources and, physically handicapped groups, MaGIC SE said.
The recipients were The Truly Loving Company (TLC) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Julia Chong Chooi Fong, Lembah Bujang Ecopark director Fathee Aizat, TBB Batik Boutique founder Kylin Kwan, Heart Treasures Sdn Bhd founder and managing director Kiew Boon Siew, Tanoti Sdn Bhd director Jacqueline Fong Yean Yee, Dialogue in the Dark Sdn Bhd founder and chief executive officer Stevens Chan Kum Fai, MangoChilli chief happiness officer Ronald Khoo Swee Keat, ANB Agro Trainers founder Gugen Navamani, and Biji Biji Design Sdn Bhd founder and creative director Syaril Azam.
Nearly 31 enterprises submitted their applications for the awards grant.
In 2014, MaGIC SE made a commitment of MYR500,000 to five social enterprises to help them grow and scale up.
MaGIC SE executive director Ehon Chan said that MaGIC SE’s mandate is to empower a movement for social entrepreneurship to be a key national agenda and champion the growth of social enterprises in the country.
“In Malaysia, it is estimated that there are now 150 social enterprises operating mostly in the areas of education, poverty, rural development, and environmental sustainability, employment for the marginalised, and at-risk youth,” he said.
MaGIC SE launched the National Social Enterprise Blueprint in May this year, which maps out a three-year strategy to accelerate the development of the social entrepreneurship sector.
“Within this Blueprint, one of the main challenges that need to be addressed to unlock the full potential of the social enterprise sector is the lack of access to sizable financial capital/investment,” he added.
In 2014, MaGIC SE funded five social enterprises. It said from the MYR500,000 invested in these social enterprises, they achieved an annual turnover of MYR3.4 million achieved in the last year. “This means that for every MYR1.00 we invested, the social enterprise has achieved a MYR7.00 return,” Chan pointed out.
He noted that the Amplify Awards acts as a catalyst to grow the ecosystem and attract a sizeable pool of impact investors and bring in the private sector support for social enterprises.
MaGIC Social Entrepreneurship (MaGIC SE) unit was set up in 2013, supported by a MYR20 million fund announced by the Prime Minister.
Among the key roles it plays is to build cross-sector partnerships which would tap into the strengths and resources of each sector. In turn, this would spur growth of social entrepreneurship in Malaysia.