Empowering the poor and underprivileged, promoting sustainable economic growth
Kuala Lumpur, 7 July 2014 – The World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation (WIEF) through its WIEF Education Trust (WET) organised the first WIEF Social Entrepreneurship Challenge (SEC) – a programme aimed for students in higher education in Malaysia to present their business idea to empower the poor and underprivileged communities in Malaysia.
The programme is an initiative to create a win-win outcome for all students, the corporate sector and the Malaysian community concerned, in the hope of those participating in this programme to think, question and undertake research into new concepts that would benefit our much needed communities in the future.
“I believe that this global phenomenon has made more young people interested 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,” said The Honourable Tun Musa Hitam, the Chairman of the WIEF Foundation at the launch of the WIEF Social Entrepreneurship Challenge.
The programme which comprises three levels of challenge will require students in teams of four to submit their Business Idea of a viable socio-economic empowerment project for their chosen community from four region of Malaysia; North (the fishing village of Kampung Belakang Kilang, Kuala Perlis, Perlis), South (the Temuan community of Kampung Guntur, Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan), Sabah (the community of Pulau Banggi) and Sarawak (the community in Rehabilitation Centre of Kampung Muara Tuang, Kota Samarahan).
The top 20 teams in Challenge 1 will be selected for Challenge 2 where they will be trained and mentored to produce a Business Plan to fund and implement their projects. The top 10 teams in Challenge 2 will proceed to Challenge 3 where they will learn to pitch their proposals in 5 minutes to the Challenge Judges. The best 4 teams in Challenge 3 will win the top prize of RM20, 000 and 3 consolation prizes of RM10, 000.00 each.
Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh, Minister of Education II Malaysia, who had launched the programme, said, “as a government that puts the people first, we recognise the importance of social enterprises in driving the country’s economy and effect positive societal changes in our quest to become a developed nation by 2020. In recognition of the importance of social enterprises, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had in November last year, announced the setup of a RM20 million fund to aid start up social businesses. As such, the WIEF Social Entrepreneurship Challenge is a timely event aimed at inculcating the spirit of social entrepreneurship among students in institutions of higher learning with the goal of training business leaders and social entrepreneurship of the future”.
Datuk Hajah Azizah Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd. Dun, Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, said, “the WIEF’s effort is in line with our Ministry’s objective to enhance socio-economic empowerment of the four communities identified by the WIEF. We believe that this programme plays an important role to our nation, especially in allowing the young leaders of today to make positive contribution to the community”.
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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