Sunday, August 25

Unimas team excels in Eco-Biz Dream Project 3

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Prof Shanti Faridah (centre) joins her charges (from left) Mohd Fakharuddin, Norzafirah, Lennevey and Dayang Siti Herdawati in celebrating their achievement in Kuala Lumpur.

KUCHING: The ‘Green Team’ from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) was announced the grand winner of the ‘Alliance Islamic Bank Eco-Biz Dream Project 3’ during the awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur recently.

The Unimas ensemble – comprising team leader Norzafirah Azriah Mohd Fadzli, 25; Lennevey Kinidi, 25; Mohd Fakharuddin Muhamad; 25, and Dayang Siti Herdawati Abang Hardin, 24 – was among the top 10 teams who pitched their business ideas on ways to help revitalise Sungai Kerayong in the Klang Valley.

The win earned Green Team RM10,000 and also the opportunity to help revitalise Sungai Kerayong through their social enterprise solution.

This would be carried out in collaboration with Alliance Islamic Bank, local civic authorities, non-profit organisations, private enterprises, and the communities living along Sungai Kerayong.

The Green Team’s pitch revolves around the idea of developing a simple solution using ‘BioChar’ in a plug-and-clean filter to be utilised at the wet markets along Sungai Kerayong.

This mechanism should serve to reduce the amount of untreated effluents associated with high ‘Chemical Oxygen Demand’ and also nutrients going into the river.

Unimas’ Centre for Academic Assurance and Academic Development director Assoc Prof Shanti Faridah Salleh, who guided the Green Team, said the solution was inspired by the question of how they could help the communities along Sungai Kerayong.

“We focus on one problem rather than many problems at one time, and effectively tackle it for an impactful solution,” she said.

It is learnt that the Eco-Biz Dream Project 3 was designed to nurture forward-thinking social entrepreneurs who could help create a positive impact on the economy, environment and community.

According to Alliance Islamic Bank chief executive officer Rizal Il-Ehzan, the Eco-Biz Dream Project is now into its third year and already, it has defied convention.

“It is a social entrepreneurship activation initiative done in collaboration with academia, and this year, the winning project will be jointly implemented by like-minded citizens who want to ‘Do Good’ together, and have a meaningful impact on the environment and society.”

In ensuring the sustainability of the winning pitch, Alliance Islamic Bank has engaged local authorities, non-profit organisations, crowd-funding partners, and private enterprises for the implementation phase.

“Alliance Islamic Bank is committing up to RM200,000 to be used as a seed-fund for implementation. Any additional funding required will be raised via our strategic crowd-funding partners’ platforms, Ata Plus and Ethis Ventures. We hope that doing so would help lend greater visibility of the project among the communities,” said Rizal.

The first runner-up of the Eco-Biz Dream Project 3 were Team Monash Green Lab from Monash University who bagged RM5,000, followed by Team Aqua Plethora from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) who took home RM3,000 as the second runner-up.

The consolation prizes – at RM1,000 each – went to Team Sungai Savers from Xiamen University Malaysia, and Team Adiwangsa from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).