Social entrepreneurship combines two very challenging disciplines – entrepreneurship and social work. This is no mean feat to do well.
But the influx of Malaysians into the sector gives it a veneer of an easy win. Every other day, a hip new start-up trying to save something hits news pages or receives media airtime.
It has been estimated that there were already around 100 social enterprises in the country in 2015. Ehon Chan, executive director of the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre Social Entrepreneurship (MaGIC SE), tells Focusweek that 75 new ones have been incubated by the government agency in the last year and a half.
Putrajaya is hungry for more. It pumped in RM20 mil two years ago to create 1,000 such hybrid businesses by 2018. Two government programmes – to certify social enterprises and to offer them federal procurement priorities – are also expected to begin this year to fan entrepreneurship initiatives that alleviate poverty.
Across the globe, the United States, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Canada and so on are administering shots in the industry’s arm as well.