Updates on Social Business City Ipoh

Since the official announcement at the Pangkor International Dialogue in September last year, much has happened in building Ipoh as the fifth Social Business City of the world.

Since then, myHarapan has worked alongside Institut Darul Ridzuan, a public policy think tank for the Perak State Government, in the development of strategies and rolling out of activities in creating a robust ecosystem for social business.

As a start, the initiatives which have been implemented by myHarapan contribute to the development of the education pillar of a social business city. Here are some of our highlighted activities which have already been completed, or are currently underway:


Yayasan Bina Upaya (YBU) Social Business Bootcamp was held over 2.5 days back in April, attended by 40 participants comprising of YBU’s senior management team and the Foundation’s grantees; the entrepreneurs themselves. As the trainer of the session, myHarapan facilitated understanding of social business, and thereafter, the ideation process of encouraging participants to create their own social business models.


The Social Project Challenge is an annual competition open to all Malaysian secondary school students to encourage active participation by solving problems in their communities or the environment. Most recently, 10 teams attended the bootcamp after being shortlisted from a total of 43 submissions nationwide; in the categories of healthcare, environment, community development, science and technology, and education. A total of 4 schools from Perak sent in their proposals, and the Malay College Kuala Kangsar is one of the shortlisted teams.

Together with our partners, we facilitate the growth and process of refining the students’ social project ideas, including learning about market validation, implementing their projects, and how to pitch to funders and supporters.


Also supported by Institut Darul Ridzuan, the myHarapan Social Business Challenge 2017 is a competition to ideate and generate solutions using the social business model to combat poverty through employment creation. Enabling young people to become entrepreneurs plays a critical role in tackling youth unemployment, empowering youths to become job creators and economic drivers of the future. Receiving a total of close to 100 submissions nationwide, this year’s competition saw three social business ideas from Perak being shortlisted for the finals.

Earlier this year also, myHarapan signed an MoU with four major local universities and Institut Darul Ridzuan as part of the Social Business Network here in Malaysia. One of the deliverables is to produce a book on social business, intended to document the social business journey in Malaysia.


To be launched during the Social Business Day event this 28 July in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the book is targeted at leaders from the private and public sectors, and graduate students, and aims to raise awareness on social business and showcase existing Malaysian initiatives. myHarapan will be producing the contents on youth and corporate sector engagement for the book.

Other upcoming activities which we will be organising or participating at include:

A 3d2n Social Business Bootcamp for NGOs in Ipoh to be held in July/ August, in encouraging financial sustainability for social purpose organisations.

The Malaysian social business community will be hosting the Country Forum at the Social Business Day in Dhaka, Bangladesh this 28-29 July 2017. There will be special announcements and updates to expect from the Malaysian Yunus Social Business Network.

The Asia Pacific Social Business Forum will be held in conjunction with the upcoming Pangkor International Dialogue in September. A forum with a focus on private sector participation, the event will also feature a social business marketplace and a townhall session on social business by Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh.

Stay updated with news and happenings on social business in Malaysia by following myHarapan on Facebook!


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