The World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation (WIEF) through its WIEF Education Trust (WET) presented awards to four winning teams that completed its WIEF Social Entrepreneurship Challenge (WSEC) today. The Programme was aimed at students in higher education in Malaysia to present their business ideas to empower poor and underprivileged communities in Malaysia.
Students from Malaysian public and private universities, colleges and polytechnics of various disciplines and level of study participated in the 6-month Programme and saw an outpouring of innovative and creative business ideas dedicated to improving the livelihoods and living conditions of the communities of their choice.
The Programme began with a total of 14 teams provided with training on business plan development. This included meeting and engaging with the very communities they want to empower in a two-day business bootcamp following which they were mentored by academic advisors at their institutions to complete their respective business plan.
The Final Pitching took place yesterday when 8 teams were shortlisted. Each was assigned a Business Mentor who then coached them on pitching ideas and presentation skills to a panel of judges and potential sponsors. On 19 January, 2015, eight teams; Enactus Unimas, UCSI University, BumbleBee, Embun, Eugeniaes, Enactus UiTM, The Community Herbs and Growth presented and pitched their Business Ideas by persuading and arguing their cause for their respective communities.
Today saw four Teams UCSI University for community Kg. Kalangkaman, Pulau Banggi, Sabah; Embun for community Kg. Belakang Kilang, Kuala Perlis, Perlis; The Community Herbs for community Kg. Guntur, Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan; and Growth for community Kg. Muara Tuang, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak receiving their well-deserved awards of RM10,000 each as well as opportunities for project incubation. The Overall winner The Community Herbs for community Kg. Guntur, Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilanalso received an additional RM10,000 and a Challenge Trophy.
The fourTeams which spent time respectively in Kampung Belakang Kilang, Perlis, Kampung Guntur, Negeri Sembilan, Kampung Kalangkaman, Sabah and PDK Kampung Muara Tuang, Sarawak, were awarded for their creativity, insight and foresight on empowering and sustaining their communities.
“The Challenge is almost similar to Donald Trump’s reality show,”said Abdul Hilmi Bin Mohd Sarnudin of team The Community Herbs which was the Overall Winner and won RM10,000, “But while that was for entertainment, the WSEC has taught us all lifelong skills in negotiation, clarity and the art of doing business, with a heart.”
Sandeep Gurung from Growth Team agreed. “Many entrepreneurship programmes for students are geared for credits, but are not applicable to life out of college. We learned real-life experiences in conducting business to empower a community. And what we really liked about the programme was that it was designed for Malaysian students who have chosen to study in our own country, rather than abroad. This was an opportunity not to be missed.”
The WSEC is certainly another milestone for the WIEF and WET as it stands out from other entrepreneurship and business programmes in the universities in Malaysia. The business skills, social entrepreneurship awareness and entrepreneurship elements provided from outside of the class were most beneficial to the participating students.
“Being a social entrepreneur, you must take proactive action to understand the social structure of your target community, and to develop a Business Model for the community to truly reap the rewards instead of merely emulating the existing models. We should therefore not be discouraged by any initial setbacks encountered in undertaking this Challenge.”saidThe Honourable Tun Musa Hitam, the Chairman of the WIEF Foundationin closing the Programme.
Tan Sri Dr Wan Mohd Zahid Mohd Noordin, Chairman of the WIEF Education Trust, added, “I believe that this Challenge will encourage more young people to pursue business ventures of their choice based on their own social aspirations. They could come up with a viable business model to address a particular aspect of social improvement. The WIEF Education Trust is happy to be able to contribute to this development by organising the SEC. We believe that young people should be given the encouragement to channel their energy to do something positive and lucrative by giving life to existing industries or create new innovative ones or even venture into business as their career path.”
About the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation
The WIEF Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation based in Kuala Lumpur, organises the annual World Islamic Economic Forum, a world-class business platform showcasing business opportunities in the Muslim world. The Foundation also runs programmes under the WIEF Businesswomen Network (WBN), WIEF Young Leaders Network (WYN) and the WIEF Education Trust (WET) and the WIEF Roundtable Series, aimed at strengthening people partnership and knowledge exchange between Muslim and non-Muslim communities across the globe. Some of the Foundation’s initiatives include the roundtable discussions, leadership programmes, knowledge transfer and skill development workshops, business networking forums, internship and scholarship programmes, the Young Fellows Programme and the Marketplace of Creative Arts Festival (MOCAfest). For more information on the WIEF Foundation, please visit www.wief.org.
About the WIEF Education Trust (WET)
The WIEF Education Trust (WET) was launched during the 2nd WIEF in Islamabad, Pakistan in 2006. The WET was established on the premise that education is the most important pillar in every society and that the fate and future of a community lies in the quality and availability of education for its people. The WET is aimed at garnering support and resources from the Muslim world to provide education opportunities to the people at large.
In order to help achieve its objectives, the WIEF-UiTM International Centre was set up in 2007 to undertake vocational training and capacity building programmes. H.E. Dr Ahmad Mohamad Ali, President of the Islamic Development Bank delivered a Special Address in UiTM to commemorate the Centre’s Inaugural Ceremony in February 2008.
Since then, the WET has carried out the unique WIEF-UiTM Global Discourse Series that addresses topical issues relating to business and economics, as well as scientific and technological advancement crucial to the development in the Muslim world. This programme has gained increasing popularity with the public and private sectors as well as the academia, and also attracted local and international award winners and high caliber speakers to the discourse.
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