We'd like to touch upon a few key highlights from 2019-but first, allow us to say thank you for believing in our vision to empower the Malaysian youths to be wholesome, independent and contributing citizens. In 2019, we came up with a few ways to accelerate our work and make a change for a better future. Given the momentum, we're optimistic about our prospects in 2020 and beyond. The best is yet to come.
It was a standout year, especially as we developed new partnerships that allowed us to be more active in East Malaysia. We are grateful to our partners who made this a reality and were as dedicated as we were in empowering youths through social entrepreneurship. Joining the rebel alliance in 2019 was Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) and Tabung Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (Tegas). Together, we launched a series of youth-oriented programs to fuel social entrepreneurship via capacity and capability development. It has always been a goal of ours to extend our work in East Malaysia, and so this partnership allowed us to connect more strongly with youths in Sarawak.
At the beginning of 2019, we exchanged an MoU and became one of SMA-Tegas's strategic partners. We then started by conducting several 1-day workshops on ‘Social Business 101’ in different districts in Sarawak namely Kuching, Miri, Bintulu to provide inspiration to prospective entrepreneurs and young change makers alike.
The objective of the 1-day workshop was to share knowledge on how to identify the needs and challenges in a community, the specific tools on how to implement ideas and create sustainable solutions. It also included understanding what impact is and how to ensure we measure the value we offer to our stakeholders. We also created awareness on how to discover opportunities through other programs such as PUSH (Pemangkin Usahawan Sosial Hebat) a program we undertook then with MaGIC which provides access to micro-financing for Impact-Driven Enterprises.
‘Youth Sarawak Social Business Challenge’ (YSSBC)
targeting students in tertiary education, young working adults anywhere between 18 and 35 years old.
‘Youth Sarawak Social Project Challenge’ (YSSPC)
targeting secondary public and private school students..
Before the competition, we conducted 3 tours engaging 104 attendees across Sarawak in Miri, Sibu, and Kuching to encourage participation andsubmission of ideas from youths.
We reached out to people who wanted to do something for their communities but did not know how to do it. We believe that the people who are directly impacted by a problem have a much different outlook of needs, defined based on a better understanding of the causes of the problem and the barriers they will have to manage to prevent and solve the problem. With sincerity and empathy, they are able to develop ideas and solutions that are deep and far-reaching.
The submissions we received for the competition were very few compared to similar competitions in previous years, as we only received a total number of 13 social business ideas for the YSSBC category and 15 social project ideas for the YSSPC category. Yet the ideas that were submitted were all thoughtful and effective, seeking to tackle a social issue in their community in novel and sustainable ways. We found it a challenge to choose the 9 teams for each category who would go to the next phase of the competition - an intense 3-day/2-nights bootcamp in Kuching, Sarawak, covering social business entrepreneurship, marketing, funding and project management among many other topics.
After the bootcamp and upon implementing and validating ideas within a 3-month period, the Youth Sarawak Social Business/Project Challenge 2019 Grand Finale was held at SMA, Kuching where all finalists competed neck-to-neck by pitching to a panel of esteemed judges. Judges included our very own CEO, Nurfarini Daing, Tan Chee Kang, Head of Digital Economy Projects, SMA, and Prof Dr. IR Al.Khalid Othman, Deputy Chief diverse Scientist, Advisor to Digital Economy Sarawak Government providing expertise in areas important to the evaluation process.
Although nerve-wrecking, participants learned a lot from the questions thrown at them and from the feedback given by the judges, giving them real-life experience and a glimpse of presenting to social investors an funders.
Winners were judged on impact, feasibility of solution, business model and presentation
When a business owner has a viable business plan for his start-up he knows how much funding he needs, and what it will be used for. In order to execute his plans, he will need to look and ask for funds. Whether it is from his family members or friends, or philanthropist and vc investors, this may be a scary step to take. myHarapan initiated “HUHA! Let's Du8: Making Sense of Investing” to matchmake the social entrepreneurs with investors, in a safe and fun way. The session introduced and connected our myHarapan entrepreneurs to potential impact investors. The half-day event included a dialogue discussion, social business speed dating and business matching sessions with selected impact investors, social business entrepreneurs (SBs), impact-driven entrepreneurs (IDEs), corporations, and government agencies.
Ata-Plus Sdn Bhd, Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, and PitchIN Platforms Sdn Bhd were some of the investors that joined us for the event. Other potentialfunders included MARA, INSKEN and Hong Leong Bank. Impact-Driven Enterprises which participated included myFizro (Ice Cream Malaysia), Joe Barber, and Coffeezone and social business entrepreneurs from Discover Muaythai (Sports and Health Gym and Services, ThinkReel (a Production house) , and SURI Lifestyle (fashion custom-tailoring using and repurposing unused materials)
Alhamdulillah, it was a hit! It was seen as a better starting point for the business owners and investors as they came to speak on common grounds, not for the mere purpose of impressing each other and looking good on their first “date”!
In the second quarter of the year, we hosted another competition in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Malaysia. Facing Up with Social Entrepreneurship or better known as FUSE is a continuous effort to create awareness about social business as part of the ASEAN Work Plans on Youth 2016 –2020. Supported by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development, this competition serves as a platform to facilitate the development of new social businesses, among youths in Malaysia nationwide.
Solving social problems isn’t a solo act. Governments, the private sector, academia, civil society, and of course- social business entrepreneurs, need one another to support and be nurtured to achieve collectively agreed goals. We are, therefore, delighted and thankful that the Ministry of Youth and Sports is with us to provide facilitation and create positive social impact since 2014.
By leveraging each other’s strength, we provided the needed impetus to creating new youth-driven social businesses all over Malaysia. This time, we were able to receive submissions more apt and representative of our nation, which included participation from rural and far reaching communities in Malaysia. For most of them, it was their first time joining any sort of competition.
The competition also served as a platform to encourage local participation in solving social issues and fulfilling priority areas of ASEAN Work Plans on Youth 2016-2020, fostering collaboration with the government sector in developing a social business ecosystem in Malaysia and potentially, within the region. This competition was open to all secondary school students and youths nationwide.
43 new social project ideas from secondary school student aged 13-17 years old.
39 new social business ideas from young adults aged 18-30 years old.
10 shortlisted ideas from the secondary school category and 8 shortlisted ideas from the young adult category moved onto the next phase (bootcamp).
After a validation period of 3 months, Facing Up with Social Entrepreneurship (FUSE) 2019 Grand Finale was held at the International Youth Center, Cheras. All finalists shared their stories of the impact they have created during the 3 months and their business models and the amount of revenue generated during that same period.
We were blown away by how much they have done, in such a short span of time. Irrespective of their profile or their abilities, all participants were given the opportunity to equally compete. Students with different physical and mental abilities and seniority, supported each other during the entire period, giving rise to collaboration and shared goals, in spite of their competitive spirit. Along with their dedicated teachers, we witnessed young people create solutions and make decisions to act beyond their years.
In ensuring real-life experiences can be enjoyed, we once again included representatives from the Ministry of Education, MaGIC, the Social Business sector, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the International Youth Council in the panel of judges. Valuable insights were shared as judges tested their solutions and their resolve.
The closing ceremony was then attended and officiated by the Deputy Minister of Ministry of Youth and Sports, YB Steven Sim. The winning teams were able to present their ideas to YB. He had the chance to listen to their ideas, their voice, as they all sought to tackle social issues faced by their own communities. YB was as impressed as we were when he mentioned that the youths of Malaysia are the leaders of change both now and the future.
We hope to recognise youths who are taking up the challenge to change the environment they live in by providing them the right choice and opportunity. With continued assistance from multi-sectors, we also know that once supported, youth people will be able to make the changes we need to see in our world today.
• SMK Bukit Payong, Besut, Terengganu
Solution: 3Cs : A cat center for stray cats dumped in the school area, integrating therapy and a cafe in their solution.
• Program Pendidikan Khas Integrasi, SMK Batu Unjur, Klang, Selangor
Solution: Upcycled plastic waste and unwanted clothing and materials turned into fashionable and usable items
• SMK Kuala Besut, Besut, Terengganu
Solution: Vertical garden for the villages to grow their own vegetables.
Solution: AR sign language cards to help bridge the gap between the hearing impaired community and the hearing.
Solution: Empowering underserved communities in Labuan, Sabah by giving vocational skills training such as sewing.
Solution: massage incubation center to employ people with Asperger’s.
Solution: Reduce water wastage in traditional agriculture while increasing its harvesting yields.
The myHarapan Social Business Study Trip was back for the fifth time in 2019 with a visit to Taiwan. This study trip provided an opportunity for those keen to pursue social entrepreneurship, to learn from key social entrepreneurship practitioners in Taiwan.
This informal and engaging tour offered practical insights to establishing, developing and operating a Social Enterprise via a thriving grassroot sector. Apart from acquiring in-depth insights, it was an exceptional opportunity for networking, knowledge-sharing, and discussions.
We visited several social businesses in Taiwan, mountain lodge, The Yunus Social Business Centre at the National Central University, Duofu Care and Services, and Taiwan Social Enterprise Innovation and Entrepreneurship Society (TSEIES).
The social business trip provided the participants with opportunities for personal development by improving skills and traits, such as confidence, self-esteem, leadership, and independent thinking. For some of the participants, it was their first trip abroad. They will carry this invaluable experience throughout their life and hopefully impart it to others.
The social business study trip also acts as a platform to develop culture sensitivity. Being aware of cultural values and norms is not only fascinating, but can help the youngsters to understand international issues and conflicts, or even relate to the cultural norms of their other counterparts in the world. We believe it is an important skill to be able to shift perspectives and understand.
One part of our role at myHarapan is research and policy. We need to be able to investigate systematically in order to find facts and new ideas to provide the right platform for youths and conversations on policies.
The “Doing Good Index” is a study based around a set of indicators that was taken together to show the regulatory and institutional infrastructure enabling or impeding philanthropic giving. The study is conducted by Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS), an action-oriented research and advisory organization committed to improving the quantity and quality of private social investment in Asia. CAPS is operating in Hong Kong.
For Malaysia, the study was conducted by myHarapan and co-funded by Yayasan Hasanah, a sister entity of Khazanah Nasional, the investment holding arm of the Government of Malaysia.
These four main areas were covered – regulatory regimes, tax and fiscal policy, government procurement, and socio-cultural ecosystem. The Index revealed how Asian economies are catalyzing philanthropic giving.
Malaysia found herself in the second cluster based on the performance of 15 Asian economies in the Doing Good Index (DGI) 2018. Instead of outright rankings, DGI measured the performance in terms of four clusters - Doing Well, Doing Better, Doing Okay, and Not Doing Enough. Each cluster represents the distance left to travel toward a conducive environment for doing good.
Malaysia was particularly doing well in two sub-indexes - Regulations and Ecosystem. The Regulations sub-index evaluates laws and policies pertaining to philanthropic activity, examining some of the practicalities around what makes the giving and receiving of social investments. While the Ecosystem sub-index maps the supportive environment for giving of philanthropic funds and the delivery of services through four groups of indicators: public perception, institutional recognition, talent infrastructure, and good governance.
In terms of numbers, DGI is impressive. The project was massive in its scope and reach:
Asian economies (countries) including China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam;
The survey was translated into
A total of
social delivery organizations (SDOs) from 15 Asian economies took part in the survey, which was carried out from January to April 2017. SDOs included NGOs, nonprofits, foundations, and social enterprises; and
Malaysian SDOs throughout the country took part in the survey.
Addressing complex challenges requires multi-sector and multi-stakeholder involvement. By identifying the enablers and barriers to progress, the Index can direct stakeholders’ efforts to the location. Understanding specific factors that matter and providing a clearer understanding of a moving-forward plan can unleash the potential of private social investment and philanthropy in Asia. If achievable, the Doing Good Index could significantly contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.
We launched the DGI report 2018 for Malaysia at NGOhub. We also had a sharing session by Mehvesh Mumtaz Ahmed, Research Director of Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society (CAPS), Hong Kong specifically sharing the findings for Malaysia, dialogue session, and workshop for DGI 2020. Around 50 participants attended the event. DGI is repeated every two years. The survey is conducted in 2019 and the report will be given in 2020. Let's see how Malaysia does in the next report!
Ekuiti Nasional Berhad (‘Ekuinas’) is a long time partner to myHarapan. And this year, we collaborated to present the inaugural ILTIZAM Social Business Challenge (ISBC) 2019, Sabah Chapter. This collaboration allowed us to continue our goal of engaging with East Malaysians and in particular, Sabah youths. This provided Sabahan youths the opportunity to ideate innovative and viable solutions to address social issues in their home state.
ILTIZAM SBC (Sabah Chapter) seeks to nurture and develop youths in Sabah into future social entrepreneurs through the fostering of their ideas on solutions in the face of increasing social challenges. The Challenge is aimed to encourage youth to formulate ideas designed to address and improve the socio-economic livelihoods of communities in Sabah. It is open to all Sabah residents aged 21 to 41 years old and participants are required to submit their social business ideas as the first step.
We conducted sessions to engage with the youths by sharing what social business is and what is expected of ISBC at 3 locations: Kota kinabalu (UMS), Sipitang and Tawau. We could not have done this without our local partners namely, Majlis Belia Sabah, Kelab Belia Tinagayan and Borneo Startup Community. With close to 60 submissions, we selected 10 social business teams to attend the 3D2N bootcamp held in Kota Kinabalu scheduled from the 16th to 18th January 2020. We will be sharing more updates in 2020! Definitely a good way to start our New Year’s.