Impacting Communities as a Social Enterprise in Malaysia

Social Enterprises (SE) are cause-driven businesses that create social value and have a positive impact both on society and/or the environment. Globally, social enterprises make up an increasing portion of the private sector. As economies grow, we see a need and demand for SEs, as they are mutually beneficial for business owners and the community. In Malaysia, the government initiated several programs that helped Malaysia become a top location for social enterprises.

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Government bodies like MaGICfalling under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), have the mission of strengthening Malaysia’s position as an emerging innovation nation. One of MaGIC’s key missions is “nurturing and navigating local startup and social enterprise into successful and sustainable businesses”. One initiative by MaGIC in 2017 is the Impact Driven Enterprise Accreditation (IDEA). MaGIC also launched Buy For Impact which encourages companies to purchase products or services from SEs.  

Buy for Impact gathers like-minded people and organisations to promote conscious buying behaviour among the general public and the private sector. This initiative “promotes and supports the notion of utilising the general public’s purchasing power to generate sustainable positive social or environmental impact through Impact-Driven Enterprises (IDEs)”. On April 23rd 2022, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob outlined a new direction for the country on social entrepreneurship development. “This Social Entrepreneurship Action Framework 2030 or SEMy2030 provides a new national direction for the development of social entrepreneurship in Malaysia", remarked the Prime Minister. SEMy2030 will provide a more structured training on the adaptation of technology and digitalisation, widen access to financing and financial support, and provide access to the domestic and international markets.

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Batik Boutique has benefited from the SE ecosystem and awareness of social impact that Malaysia is building. Our business-to-business (B2B) model which focuses on corporate gifting allows us to partner with like-minded businesses and enables us to bring the knowledge of SEs to companies which have not encountered the positive impact of SEs. In conjunction with our efforts, we are honoured that Batik Boutique is listed on the global list of 100 Corporate-Ready Social Enterprises, led by Acumen and supported by IKEA Social Entrepreneurship. This list was developed in collaboration with members of the World Economic Forum’s COVID Response Alliance for Social EntrepreneursIn addition, the Malaysian government awarded us the SE.A Plus accreditation from IDEA (their highest level), and we joined the Buy For Impact program mentioned above.   

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We understand that how we do business greatly impacts the lives of the people around us. Our future from a social and environmental perspective relies on social enterprises that bring positive impact. We also hope that our work at Batik Boutique will help challenge the next generation of business owners to also see how they can do better. The Malaysian government along with other organisations have done much in the last few years to bolster SEs locally and globally, and we hope to continue to work with all partners to better develop the nation of Malaysia and other communities around the world.

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