Yesterday I visited Arthur Guiness's HQ (the one you see next to Federal Highway!) to learn more about Entrepreneurs For Good 2014 organised by Arthur Guinness Project in partnership with the British Council. This global programme was set up in 2009 as part of Guinness' 250th anniversary and since it started, £7.4 million (RM28 mil) have been invested in mentoring 45 projects in 13 countries. To date more than 40,000 people in the world has benefited from the Arthur Guinness Fund. In Malaysia, this is the Project's second year.
“Entrepreneurs for Good” is a competition held by the British Council in partnership with the Arthur Guinness Fund that invites social entrepreneurs in Malaysia, both start-ups and semi established, to compete for training and networking opportunities. In 2013, they had worked successfully with six Malaysian social enterprises, providing them with seed funding and six months of 'incubation', providing them with necessary training and support to enhance their business knowledge and skills.
From 20 semi-finalists were shortlisted from nationwide search road shows and were given mentoring and training over the last 6 months. The top 12 social ventures out of that were then selected to go into the final stages of the program. At a public pitch held in April 2014, the finalist the pitched their winning social business ideas in front of an expert panel of judges comprising of industry leaders and leading social enterprises out of which the final awardees where chosen.
And well that's the reason why I was there so that I could find out who are the 12 finalists and the 6 lucky winners for Entrepreneurs for Good 2014 !
I managed to talk to most of the finalists and find out what is the nature of business of their company, vision and what are they going to do with the grant if they win.
BYOB Green Concept
BYOB stands for Bring Your Own Bottle, a concept detergent store that is promoting the 3R concepts (Reuse, Recycle and Reduce) basically ) bring your own bottle and they will fill it up saving you money and saving mother earth too!
Currently they are offering :-
- Laundry Detergent
- Dish washing detergents
- Fabric Softener
- Mopping Solution
- Pine Disinfectant
- Soap Powder
- Kitchen Degreaser
I have heard so much of them before and quite like this idea and how we get to recycle our own bottles we had at home! Unfortunately could not find a branch near me.
Catama Craft works with women in rural, underprivileged communities within Sarawak to assist them in gaining economic stability through exploration of indigenous arts and crafts.
TECH Outreach Malaysia functions on the platform to transform, enhance, cultivate and harness the elements imperative to championing the SELF-SUSTAINABILITY pursuit in disadvantaged communities. TECH Outreach Malaysia believes in helping communities tap into their potential and transform themselves through entrepreneurial proactiveness, risk-taking and innovation. It is within this framework of vision that TECH Outreach has adopted the famous “Grameen Micro-Credit Financing” Model by Professor Muhammad Yunus, in transforming communities.
Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB)'s Marketing Director Mr. Bruce Dallas said that
"The Arthur Guinness is not all about funding. We pair financial support with business mentoring to work with people to bring their projects and ideas to the next level. We're proud to help them succeed in this work and to help in this work and to help society change for the better in communities across Malaysia".
British Council Malaysia's Country Director Mr. Gavin Anderson shared that
"The social enterprise movement around the world continues to grow. That success demonstrates how social consciousness, allied with a sustainable business model, is a profound and innovate way of finding solutions to pressing social and environmental issues, of generating sustainable economic growth and of delivering positive long term change. In Year 2 of "Entrepreneur for Good , twelve social entrepreneurs have benefited from training with UK experts to develop and enrich their business proposal"
The six awardees will receive between RM20,000 and RM40,000 each as part of this year long programme, as well as training, mentoring and other assistance to help them reach their objectives.
And the winners of Arthur Guinness Projects - British Council, “Entrepreneurs for Good” for year 2014 are :
The MAD Experience
MAD is on a mission to empower everyday people to get involved in poverty alleviation. This is achieved by giving people the opportunities, tools and support they need so that they can raise funds and volunteer to implement high impact projects that break the cycle of poverty.
By combining online crowd funding with responsible volunteering, MAD aims to create an online crowd fundraising platform dedicated to raising funds for poverty alleviation projects. Through this platform, passionate individuals will be able to set up a personal online fundraising campaign to raise funds for a project that they are passionate about. After successfully raising an amount, the unique offering by the MAD experience is that they offer fundraisers to travel and visit the disadvantaged communities they chose to support. The experience gained from this travel often invites other fundraisers and more people to do good for the community.
CleanBites serves delicious, healthy and balanced food with a focus on making this food easily available to the public. An innovative subscription-based delivery service makes eating healthily easily achievable and affordable to people living busy lives.
General food are often high in salt, sugar and other processed seasoning including GMF. By educating the public about eating healthily and introducing them to great tasting and easily accessible healthy food, CleanBites aims to improve the health and well being of Malaysians.
p/s: Picture credited to Jason from Walauwei
Catama Craft Enterprise
By creating high-end products for the international market, Catama Crafts seeks to encourage the preservation of traditional knowledge and empower communities with pride in their craft and cultural identity and autonomy to change and adapt. Crafts created will be marketed and sold to local and international consumers. Profits will be shared amongst the rural communities, providing economic stability to the women and community at large. In addition to that, it also ensures the preservation of traditional skills and knowledge.
BYOB Green Concept
BYOB seeks to educate society about the dangers of plastic pollution and to stop them from treating plastic bottles as rubbish. Offering communities a chance to help protect the environment by reusing their plastic bottles instead of throwing them away. BYOB allows the public to bring their empty plastic bottles to the store and refill them with a variety of cleaning products. This comes from a study that recycling doesn't really work as it creates a carbon footprint whilst in the recycling process. Furthermore, it is costly as well.
Shuttle Go Bus
Busco is a short distance, low density private shuttle service helping people in urban environments to make use of the public transport in a sustainable way.
Focusing on the "First Mile Problem" - the difficulty people face in accessing public transport from their homes. Busco provides communities with the opportunity to become mobile and live more fulfilling lives. Busco also seeks out unemployed and underemployed youths, and trains them to drive and manage the operations.
Ecocentric Transitions is committed to cultivate an environmentally empathetic and sustainable society. Through workshops and consultations, Ecocentric Transitions aims to build environmental awareness in communities.
Ecocentric Transitions educates and gives practical advice on how to become more eco-responsible through interactive activities relating to topics such as Food Security, Waste and Resources - Environmental Education and Sustainable Living.
The People's Choice Award - Tanoti
Tanoti is dedicated to keeping alive the traditional Malaysian craft of songket weaving. By contemporizing the art of songket weaving and passing on the skills to the younger generations, Tanoti aims to reinvigorate the trade so that songket weavers can make a steady and sustainable income from this art form.
In order to achieve this goal, Tanoti intends to work with songket weavers to establish supply chain from the bottom up, building a viable and fair business which can sustain both the community and the craft.
Group pic of the all the winners for Arthur Guinness Projects - Entrepreneurs For Good 2014
After the event we are treated with freshly brewed Guinness bear!
Guinness anyone ?
To Arthur and all the Entrepreneurs For Good 2014 winners.... CHEERS!
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Note : All pictures are taken with HTC ONE M8 (unless mentioned otherwise) without editing (except resizing and watermarking).