SEMAI Summit Aspire to Amplify Malaysia’s Social Entrepreneurship Scene

The Social Enterprise Malaysia Amplifying Impact (SEMAI) Summit is set to take place in Kuala Lumpur on June 27, 28, and 29, 2024 at Asia School of Business. This ground-breaking event aims to bring together social entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, and community leaders to foster collaboration, innovation, and sustainable development in the social enterprise sector. The SEMAI movement aims to create and amplify the social entrepreneurship movement nationwide, beginning with Kuala Lumpur and expanding to five other locations across Malaysia throughout the year.

Initiated and co-driven by PurpoSE Malaysia and the Chamber of Social Entrepreneurs Development (CSED Malaysia), the summit aims to advance social entrepreneurship from grassroots initiatives to wide-reaching stakeholder involvement, including both public and private sectors.

“Malaysia as a nation has vast potential that has yet to be properly unlocked with respect to the social entrepreneurship movement,” said Wan Dazriq, co-founder and managing partner at PurpoSE Malaysia. “From an ecosystem-building standpoint, government support through accreditation, grants, and incentives is already in place. What lacks are the mass awareness, understanding, and cohesion in the Malaysian social entrepreneurship space. This is what we aim to bridge – the gaps in awareness and buy-in from private and public sector stakeholders through the SEMAI Summit movement,” added Dazriq.

Redza Shahid, president of the Chamber of Social Entrepreneurs Development (CSED) Malaysia and Manager at the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Centre, Asia School of Business, added that the social entrepreneurship sector in Malaysia was ranked in the top 10 by Thomson Reuters in 2016, and much remains to be desired since then. “Malaysia has what it takes to create a thriving environment for social entrepreneurship, and there are many business owners, entrepreneurs, and talents looking to make a meaningful impact through entrepreneurial means. The question is, how do we create an enabling environment? We hope that with the SEMAI Summit movement, we can at least initiate this,” he said.

The SEMAI Summit KL, a three-day event hosted at the Asia School of Business Kuala Lumpur and supported by Kementerian Pembangunan Usahawan & Koperasi (KUSKOP), will feature insightful updates, speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities designed to inspire and equip attendees with resources and knowledge on social entrepreneurship. Highlights include:

  • Keynote Address and Social Enterprise Accreditation Updates by YB Datuk Ewon Benedick, Minister of Kementerian Pembangunan Usahawan & Koperasi (KUSKOP)
  • Panel Discussions on Malaysia’s Social Enterprise Ecosystem with leading ecosystem advocates, practitioners, and social entrepreneurs sharing insights on funding opportunities and scaling social ventures
  • Workshops and Capacity Building sessions focusing on practical strategies for creating and sustaining impactful social enterprises, such as through technology, impact storytelling, fundraising, and more
  • Networking Sessions to connect with like-minded individuals, changemakers, and potential collaborators from both public and private sectors

Daniel Cerventus Lim of Nextup Asia and co-founder of Startup Week Malaysia, a community partner organization for SEMAI, also shares similar sentiments regarding the social entrepreneurship movement in Malaysia. “There are still many myths and a lack of understanding about social enterprise among grassroots startup founders and business owners. Nowadays, everyone tends to look at creating impact through their ventures, but the lack of knowledge on where to find or get support is one of the main challenges in pursuing social enterprise or impact entrepreneurship,” he added.

The SEMAI Summit Kuala Lumpur will take place from June 27 to 29, 2024, at the Asia School of Business. Registration for the event can be done via https://sesemai.peatix.com/, and sessions are free. More SEMAI Summits will happen in Borneo, Northern, and Southern parts of Malaysia subsequently.

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