31,500 Malaysians to benefit through Penjana SIM grant

October 5, 2021

SOME 31,500 Malaysians will benefit from the efforts of 63 social enterprises who received funding support totalling RM10 million through the Penjana social impact matching (SIM) grant last year.

Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) acting CEO Amiruddin Abdul Shukor (picture)  said the 63 social enterprise grant recipients from across nine states are expected to deliver an estimated social value of more than RM40 million through various initiatives.

“We are thrilled to support these social enterprises who have worked hard to raise an equal amount of funding, or more, through crowd-sourcing programmes and other corporate sponsors, thereby doubling their total financial support through the matching grant.

“This shows that there is a growing awareness, appreciation and support for social innovation in Malaysia, which is an inherent indicator of a progressive society — one where we foster the growth of sustainable and scalable solutions to enhance our collective wellbeing,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Amiruddin noted that more than one third of the approved SIM grant funding was directed towards initiatives on community livelihood, followed by 26% of the approved funding going to health and social well-being.

He added that marginalised communities, youth and children form about 50% of the beneficiaries, whilst indigenous communities make up another 30%.

“The supported social enterprises predominantly provide education, food and beverages and agriculture-related programmes, interventions or solutions, with at least 30% of the initiatives selected run nationwide or online.

“Through the SIM grant, we hope to foster a virtuous cycle of good, enabling some of the best practices to be sustained, replicated, expanded and scaled nationwide in the coming years,” he said.

SIM grant recipient, Melissa Gomes from Edvolution, an education-related social enterprise said the grant has been a huge help in enabling her business to meet the demands of her beneficiaries who are predominantly from the bottom 40% income category.

She noted that one month after receiving the grant, Edvolution created a one-stop online professional development platform for teachers, education leaders and schools called CikguHub.

Another SIM grant recipient, MF Borneo Agronizuw Sdn Bhd founder Markos Suman said the grant has contributed to the efforts of recycling coconut waste in Sabah, where he has acquired a larger manufacturing and storage area, as well as a coconut waste processing mechanism to increase production and efficiency.

“Prior to receiving the grant, we were processing 500kg of coconut waste per month. However, the grant has now allowed us to process 1,000kg every month with an annual increase.

“To date, we have collected more than 15,000kg of coconut waste and processed 15 tonnes of it into cocopeat, coco fibre and coconut oil.

“More importantly, we have hired 20 people who can now generate their own income with the skills and training provided using coconut resources,” he added.

#Demilaut, a social enterprise providing integrated solutions towards a sustainable fishing culture, has assisted two fishing villages in Bako and Sibuti, Sarawak with 32 Pemukat Noh, a mechanised trawl engine through the SIM grant.

Its founder Haaziq Ibrahim said this has reduced the need of already depleting fishing manpower due to Covid-19 restrictions and increased the fisher’s database, as well as youth participation.

Some SIM grant applicants who were unsuccessful in securing funding were funnelled into two other MaGIC initiatives, namely, the Social Impact Challenge Accelerator where they pitched for projects from other organisations, to receive network and funding opportunities, as well as the Buy For Impact programme where social enterprises are provided market access, funding and capacity building support.

The SIM grant was a move by the government to rebuild the livelihood of communities through social enterprises in five impact areas, namely environmental protection, food security, health and social wellbeing, community livelihood and heritage preservation.

The grants were channelled through the social enterprises to the beneficiaries for capacity building that will provide them with additional skills to improve job prospects, increase income and improve their overall livelihoods.

The SIM grant Joint Approval Committee, composed of the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, MaGIC, Yayasan Hasanah and Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia, assessed applications for feasibility, effectiveness and intended outcomes.

A total of 182 applications for the grant were received.