Village transformation and poverty eradication through Social Enterprise for Economic Development (SEED) program

Wee Yu Ghee, and Farok Zakaria, (2012) Village transformation and poverty eradication through Social Enterprise for Economic Development (SEED) program. In: RENPER, 15 - 17 Oktober 2012, Bengkulu, Indonesia.

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Pivoted by the themes of multicultural teamwork and social entrepreneurship, Social Enterprise for Economic Development (SEED) is a community-based, intercultural leadership and enterprise development program which exposes students from different universities in Europe and Asia to the unique contexts of villages where the poor community resides. This program is co-organized by University of Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) and Asia Research Centre (ARC) of University of St. Gallen (HSG), with the support from ASEAN Learning Network. Based on selfless and socioeconomic orientations, this program leverages on the entrepreneurial principles and knowledge of students to design and suggest feasible business development plans or action plans which aim to transform the lives of poor villagers. UMK launched its inaugural SEED program in 2010. Sri Tujuh, Tumpat, one of the provinces identified as having limited social and economic development, was selected to be the village site for SEED-UMK. Village entrepreneurs involved in this program include baker of akok (local desert), manufacturer of batik (wax-and-dye fabric), noni juice, livestock farmers (goat and chicken), catfish, cultivators of mushroom and chilies. To ensure village enterprise sustainability, SEED follow-up was further executed in July 2011. And in September 2012, SEED-UMK took a greater height whereby participants worked with indigenous community, Temiar, who reside in Kuala Betis, Gua Musang. 31 participants from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam spent a week working with the Temiar community, understood their problems, probed further through interviews and surveys, before suggesting ways of improvement through presentations of action and business plans in the areas of handicraft, education and transportation. SEED UMK-Temiar provides students with a beyond-classroom-opportunity to practice skills that are needed to find solutions addressing local issues that concern them. Using experiential and enquiry-based strategies, participants are required to study a wide variety of issues, from health care to education and the environment, from labor and economic development to crime and public safety before recommending “comprehensive” socio-economic development change. Significantly, SEED promotes ‘people-to-people’ initiatives aimed at tackling important social problems before seizing opportunities to promote change. Positive learning outcomes were reported by SEED participants. Among feedback gathered from participants were the joy of learning beyond classroom, experiencing the challenge of working together despite cultural differences, learning to empathize and understanding the plight of the poor, taking charge of the context by offering action plans that could transform the lives of villagers. Temiar community complimented the moves made by university and welcomed continuous visits to be made in future. The Heads of Village were particularly pleased with suggestions forwarded by students. Hopes were raised, actions await. Through SEED program, villagers see the opportunities which they can tap on and bold steps taken would be the key to live out of poverty.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Poverty eradication - Village transformation - Social enterprise - Socio-economic development
Faculty: Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Business
Depositing User: En. Pahmi Abdullah
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2012 10:21
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2013 11:01
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