HLB Invites Startups To Pitch Circular Economy Business Ideas 

Hong Leong Bank (HLB) recently launched the sixth edition of its HLB LaunchPad program. This initiative invites impact organisations and startups to pitch innovative ideas focused on the circular economy, with the opportunity to develop these ideas in collaboration with HLB.

Aligned with the national focus on circular economy initiatives, HLB has chosen the theme “Circular Economy Solutions for a More Sustainable Tomorrow” for this year’s program. The circular economy aims to reduce waste and maximise resource use by reusing, recycling, and regenerating materials and products.

Participants can tackle one of three challenge statements: ‘Enhancing Green Building & Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions’, ‘Reimagining How Goods are Produced for SMEs’, and ‘Exploring Innovative Solutions in Waste Management’.

HLB, CEO and Group Managing Director, Kevin Lam emphasised the bank’s commitment to sustainability and economic viability. “As a financial institution with deep entrepreneurial roots, we are dedicated to future-proofing our business by ensuring our operations are economically competitive and climate resilient,” Lam said.

He highlighted HLB’s efforts to reduce operational carbon emissions by 21% since FY2019, provide green financing, and introduce an ESG Assessment Framework for business banking customers.

HLB LaunchPad aims to discover and support new ideas that reinforce the circular economy, ensuring sustainable businesses are integrated into the national economic landscape. Over the years, HLB has supported environmentally-conscious practices in businesses, including guiding social enterprises like Refiller Mobile and Green Hero through its HLB Jumpstart program.

The bank also collaborates with the Small and Medium Enterprises Association (SAMENTA) to provide industry insights and guidance on integrating ESG considerations into operations.

HLB’s Head of Payments, Partnerships, and Fintech Ecosystems Alice Goh, stressed the importance of the circular economy. “The circular economy presents a powerful solution to the way we consume, use, and manage resources,” Goh said.

She noted that HLB is committed to building a sustainable future by empowering entrepreneurs and startups to develop solutions addressing the limitations of the current linear economic model.

Participants in HLB LaunchPad will be mentored by HLB’s top executives and senior management, as well as industry leaders from organizations such as MDEC, MBAN, and Cradle/MyStartup. The top three winners will receive cash prizes totaling RM50,000, access to funding through the BNM High Tech and Green Facility, and the opportunity to pilot their solutions with HLB.

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