Malaysia’s startup accelerator MaGIC (Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre) today announced the launch of an exclusive programme for early-stage impact-driven enterprises and social enterprises.

The programme, called Impact Driven Enterprise Accreditation (IDEA) Accelerator, aims to provide such startups with an opportunity to pilot their idea, test business plans, solidify their impact delivery models, and secure capital through fundraising using innovative entrepreneurship strategies.

As many as 29 startups out of 233 applicants have been handpicked to participate in the IDEA programme.

The six-week programme will focus on five key impact themes — employment for the marginalised community, equality and empowerment, pollution and waste management, income/productivity growth, and community development.

Through the programme, shortlisted participants will also be able to gain industry insights and expertise to grow their business, develop crucial skills, and build relationships with key industry players. It will culminate with a Demo Day, where participants will pitch their idea to government agencies, corporates and MaGIC’s impact partners for possible social procurement contracts and collaboration opportunities.

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IDEA, launched in 2017, is a national initiative to create systemic change and help the IDE sector level up, drive growth from within, and be more people-centric. It seeks to bridge the disconnect between IDEs and resources and opportunities in three ways — connecting IDEs with the public and private sectors through an online platform; giving IDEs access to social procurement opportunities; and helping IDEs establish their credibility through an accreditation programme.

To date, there are 63 IDEs that have been accredited and listed under the IDEA platform.

As part of the launch of IDEA Accelerator, MaGIC has signed two memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Social Enterprise Academy Malaysia (SEAM) and Petrosains, a supporter for social enterprise in the country.

The SEAM partnership is aimed at providing quality learning and development content targeted at social entrepreneurs in Malaysia and around the region. Together, MaGIC and SEAM aim to help develop the nation’s IDE ecosystem further by improving the ease of access to knowledge for aspiring IDE; increasing the number of accredited IDEs in Malaysia; and scaling up current IDEs to help them expand their impact and solve social and/or environmental challenges facing the community.

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The partnership with Petrosains will further support IDEs and social enterprises in relation to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In addition to continuing support for MaGIC’s Social Procurement and Buy for Impact initiatives, other areas of focus will include offering IDEs a platform, through #PetrosainsAfterHours, to host workshops and talks on STEM- related topics. Accredited IDEs will also have the opportunity to participate in Petrosains’ annual Science Festival, which will take place on September 14-16 in Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

The theme of the festival will focus on science discoveries of the future and aims to further include IDEs in Petrosains’ operations.

Since 2016, the partnership between MaGIC and Petrosains has resulted in over RM100,000 (US$25,000) worth of value creation for the impact-driven ecosystem. Petrosains has been a MaGIC Impact Partner since 2017, encouraging social procurement through its programmes Xplorasi Gift Shop and Twin Towers Gift Shop. Petrosains is currently working with IDEs focused on job creation to support the inclusion of marginalised persons from the autistic and B40 groups in the workforce as well as address environmental issues.

As part of the agreement, Petrosains will become an official mentor, partner and trainer for IDEA Accelerator.

Ashran Dato Ghazi, CEO of MaGIC, said: “As a driving force in our nation’s push to cultivate the impact-driven sector, MaGIC has introduced a variety of initiatives designed to support our national aspirations, including the landmark IDEA programme, launched in 2017. We are proud to see our efforts starting to translate into meaningful results. Today, there are more accredited home-grown IDEs than ever, each actively driving impact in the community and collaborating more effectively with the public and private sectors.”

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