Hong Leong Islamic Bank Introduces a New Social Finance Programme for Underserved Micro-Entrepreneurs

Hong Leong Islamic Bank (HLISB) has rolled out a brand new social finance programme, ‘HLB Jumpstart – Micro Business’ as part of its Value-Based Intermediation (VBI) offerings, in line with social finance to play a greater role in advancing financial inclusion and enabling social development in the country,

This programme will provide funding to individuals who may not have the opportunities and means to secure full-time employment or to aspiring entrepreneurs who lack credit history and the opportunity for them to start their own small businesses.

The ultimate goal is to help underserved micro-entrepreneurs, which can include gig economy workers, homemakers, and thin-file individuals, improve their livelihoods by having a sustainable source of income.

With this new social finance initiative, HLISB will disperse funding through its two partners – MADCash and AlfieTech, and provide zero-profit financing and capital opportunities to start a business, as well as mentorship and training on how to manage the business.

Participants can obtain two types of seed funding for their businesses. Through MADCash, participants will get startup funds of RM4,000 per participant with a payback tenure of 12 months at a zero-profit rate. Additionally, participants will also be assigned a mentor who will provide guidance and share best practices to build a successful and sustainable business.
AlfieTech, on the other hand, will disburse up to RM1,500 per applicant to use as e-commerce credit to run the business by placing orders on their own proprietary platform.

Both MADCash and AlfieTech both have a common purpose to drive financial inclusion amongst underserved communities. MADCash is a Shariah-compliant Fintech ecosystem builder with a mission to empower women micro-entrepreneurs to improve their income and credit standing by providing micro-funding and facilitating digital financial inclusion. Whereas
AlfieTech is an alternative data intelligence company that also offers digital micro-financing to underserved communities.

“This is part of the Bank’s efforts to strengthen its VBI offerings as a means to positively and sustainably impact underserved communities,” Jasani Abdullah, CEO of HLISB commented.

“We are encouraged by the positive impact seen across the businesses of some of AlfieTech and MADcash’s participants. This is a testament that social finance is an effective avenue for narrowing financing gaps in the country by empowering the underserved communities via increasing access to financial services and improving financial literacy. As a Community Bank
with “Community Investment” as a core pillar, we are excited to partner with AlfieTech and MADcash and support them with outreach and resources to expand the beneficial work they are currently doing to further impact more people. Most importantly, we want to encourage Malaysians to bring their business aspirations and dreams to life, and build a brighter future for themselves, their families, and their communities,” Jasani Abdullah, CEO of HLISB said.

‘HLB Jumpstart – Micro Business’ is a new extension under HLB Jumpstart that works closely with promising entrepreneurs and social enterprises to support them with opportunities to start their own sustainable businesses.

The program aligns with Bank Negara Malaysia’s Financial Sector Blueprint 2022 – 2026 to elevate social finance as an integral part of the Islamic finance ecosystem.

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