Hong Leong Islamic launches new social finance programme

PETALING JAYA: Hong Leong Islamic Bank (HLISB) has rolled out a new social finance programme HLB Jumpstart – Micro Business as part of its value-based intermediation (VBI) offerings.

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.

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

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. Alfie Tech, 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 Alfie Tech have a common purpose to drive financial inclusion amongst underserved communities. MadCash is a syariah-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. Alfie Tech is an alternative data intelligence company that also offers digital micro-financing to underserved communities.

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.

HLISB CEO Jasani Abdullah (pix) shared that this is part of the bank’s efforts to strengthen its VBI offerings as a means to positively and sustainably impact underserved communities.