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The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development & Cooperatives (MEDAC) efforts to promote the social enterprise movement has received a boost with the ministry recently announcing 22 social enterprises who have received the Social Enterprise Accreditation (SE.A). This is a new national certification that provides social enterprises with recognition and a means to communicate their commitments on social and environmental impact. SE.A is a collaborative effort between MED and Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) as well as Institut Koperasi Malaysia, INSKEN, SME Bank, SME Corp, Suruhunjaya Koperasi Malaysia and YayasanBank Rakyat.

The announcement comes after the launch of the Social Enterprise Accreditation Guideline by MED in April 2019. The guideline which is a step-by-step playbook to facilitate social entrepreneurs through their accreditation process also provides clarity on the definition of “social enterprises”, highlights the types of social enterprises and the various business models that can be adopted, discusses the benefits of being registered or recognised as a social enterprise, provides a detailed list of the accreditation criteria and a deep dive into the process to get accredited.

According to MED, SE.A has received applications from 202 social enterprises (SE Basics) who are keen on obtaining accreditation.  Interested social enterprises will have to register themselves as a SE Basic where they declare themselves as a social enterprise who meets all requirements to become a social enterprise. Only then can the social enterprise apply for national accreditation.

The three main criteria to obtain the accreditation are:

  • Have a clearly stated social or environmental goal;
  • Allocate a significant amount of resources towards that goal and
  • Be financially sound

The MED’s hope is that the national accreditation will enable social enterprises to attract talent and win businesses by standing out as an ethical choice in a crowded market. The accreditation also allows for social enterprises to be listed on a public directory on MED’s website which lists all social enterprises who have received the accreditation, impact indicators of the social enterprises and quarterly reports on their impact performance aside from being the ‘go-to’ platform for other social entrepreneurs to seek guidance and information about social entrepreneurship.

Accredited social enterprises will be able to access various capacity-development programmes under the Pemangkin Usahawan Sosial Hebat (PUSH) initiative which will also enable social enterprises to apply for grants of up to US$24,475 (RM100,000) that will aid in the scaling of their businesses through micro-franchising opportunities to elevate the B40 community and maximise social or environmental impact.

Furthermore, the accreditation allows social enterprises to connect with potential customers, use the social enterprise accreditation mark to validate its status and boost credentials, get access to funding opportunities and join a network of Malaysia’s leading social entrepreneurs to drive social or environmental change. Full list of benefits can be obtained (note that the information is in Bahasa Malaysia).

Commenting on the development, MED Minister, Mohd Redzuan Yusof said, “We are excited to announce the list of the 22 social enterprises who have received accreditation status and are looking forward to accredit 40 more social enterprises this year.  This is part of efforts at MED to make apparent the beneficial impact social procurement brings; to the private and public sector players who choose to procure from social enterprises, to the beneficiaries of the social enterprises including those who are differently-abled, the B40 community as well as underprivileged communities and to the social enterprises themselves. Social procurement catapults the growth and maximise impact in helping the nation fulfil goals of enhancing inclusiveness towards an equitable society, pursuing green growth for sustainability, accelerating human capital development and improving well-being for all Malaysians which also contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I urge all social enterprises in the country to submit your application to receive accreditation to maximise impact and grow your business.”

The 22 accredited social enterprises include APE Malaysia; Athena; Biji Biji Initiative; Dialogue in the Dark Malaysia; Earth Heir; Drop & Wash; Eats, Shoots & Roots; EPIC Homes; Generating Opportunities for Learning Disables (GOLD); Komuniti Tukang Jahit; Langit Collective; MaidEasy; Masala Wheels; Me.Reka; MYReaders; Nazkids; Projek 57; Seven Tea One; Silent Teddies; Suri; Tanoti and WormingUp.

For 2020 MED is aiming to accredit 40 more social enterprises by channelling efforts to intensify awareness as well as promote social entrepreneurship across Malaysia through outreach initiatives and capacity-development programmes.

Social enterprises keen on being accredited can view the Social Enterprise Accreditation Guidelines (information is in Bahasa Malaysia) or contact MaGIC’s Social Entrepreneurship Development team at 603-83244800 for further information.

Source: https://www.digitalnewsasia.com/entrepreneurial-nation/malaysian-government-announces-first-group-social-enterprises-get-accredited