ILO provides a platform for policy dialogue to accelerate the development of social enterprises in Malaysia

The webinar provided a policy platform to explore ways to strengthen the social enterprise ecosystem in Malaysia, including an overview of global, regional and national trends, presentation of the recently launched Malaysia Social Entrepreneurship Blueprint (SEMy 2030) and sharing of good practices.

News | 27 July 2022
The ILO, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (KUSKOP) held a webinar “Boosting Social Enterprise Development in Malaysia” on July 19, 2022.

In the first session “Setting the agenda – global, regional and national trends,” Ms. Simel Esim, ILO COOP manager, presented the Resolution and Conclusions concerning decent work and the SSE that were adopted at the 110th session of the International Labour Conference. Ms. Esim noted that noted that the conclusions include, for the first time, a tripartite definition of the social and solidarity economy at the international level. Ms. Esim announced that the Office is preparing a strategy and action plan that will guide ILO’s actions on promoting the social and solidarity economy for decent work and a planet- and people-centered future of work.

Mr. Jonathan Wong, Chief of Technology and Innovation of ESCAP noted the social enterprises’ essential role in providing products and services during the COVID-19 pandemic, improving livelihood and income generating opportunities for disadvantaged or marginalized groups. He cited a recent study “The state of social enterprise in Southeast Asia,” which estimated up to a million social enterprises are active in Southeast Asia, highlighting that governments are increasingly developing and implementing policies and strategies to support the development of social enterprises in Asia and the Pacific region.

In the second session, “Policy actions on Social Enterprises,” YBhg. Datin Dr. Syahira Hamidon, Under Secretary of KUSKOP presented the recently launched Malaysia Social Entrepreneurship Blueprint (SEMy2030), which sets out a new national direction for the development of social entrepreneurship in Malaysia. She noted that a description of a social enterprise is made more inclusive as “a registered entity under a written law in Malaysia, purpose-driven and has financially viable business model that addresses social and/or environmental challenges, aiming to achieve positive impacts to its beneficiaries and to the economy.” She presented KUSKOP’s plan to implement 45 initiatives over 10 years, and a new framework to facilitate registration and accreditation for social enterprises.

Her presentation was followed by Ms. Sharmila Mohamed Salleh, CEO of Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia, representing the Ministry of Sciences, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI). Ms. Salleh stated that through Yayasan Innovasi Malaysia’s programmes, 6,000 innovators were identified, 200 innovators were funded, and 100,00 people have benefitted directly and indirectly. She presented ongoing programmes to promote social innovation, including Dasar Inovasi Sosial (DIS) 2022-2030, which promotes public policies to promote social innovation.

In the third session, social enterprise practitioners from Malaysia (Discover Muaythai, OA Organik), and representatives of supporting institutions from Singapore (Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise), UK (Social Enterprise UK) and Turkey (Youth Deal Cooperative) shared good practices.

In the final session, four commentators from key institutions were invited to reflect on the presentations and share their perspectives on improving the social enterprise ecosystem in Malaysia.

Held virtually, the event brought together over 200 stakeholders, including government officials, networks, civil society organizations, and social enterprise practitioners from Malaysia and beyond. The event programme and recording are available in English.