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Investing In Dreams: $100K Seed Fund Empowers Women Entrepreneurship


In a bid to further empower women, Futuremakers by Standard Chartered and Mereka Innovative Education (Mereka) have introduced the Women in Entrepreneurship (WiE) Programme to equip local women-led organisations with essential business acumen.

The launch of WiE was officially inaugurated by Mdm. Noor Afifah binti Abdul Razak, Deputy Secretary General (Policy and Monitoring) of Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development (MECD) on Monday 11 September 2023 at Mereka Space, Publika Shopping Gallery, Kuala Lumpur.

Open to women-led organisations based in Malaysia with a minimum viable product (MVP) and a clear business model, the programme comprises webinars and pitching sessions, with a highly competitive selection process that will shortlist only 20 teams to participate in the bootcamp.

In addition, the top five (5) winning teams will receive seed funding from a pool of USD 100,000 and undergo a six-month dedicated mentorship programme, where they will receive guidance and support from experienced mentors in the entrepreneurship fields.

“We believe that women entrepreneurs have enormous potential to drive economic growth and innovation in Malaysia. Through this programme, we want to provide them with the necessary tools, resources, and guidance to build successful and sustainable businesses. We are hopeful that our current partnership with Mereka will drive more opportunities for women entrepreneurs as they look for growth beyond the COVID-19 period, where more than 176,000 entrepreneurs nationwide were forced to close their businesses.

“Since 2020, Standard Chartered has committed USD 25 million to support youth-focused economic recovery projects as part of Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, with the Standard Chartered as the lead delivery partner for all Futuremakers projects,” said Mohd Suhaimi Abdul Hamid, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Saadiq Malaysia. 

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Futuremakers by Standard Chartered and Mereka on this initiative. Women entrepreneurs face unique challenges in accessing the support and funding they need to launch and grow their businesses. 

“WiE is designed to address these obstacles by providing women entrepreneurs with access to essential resources and mentorship. By supporting women-led businesses, we can not only help them unlock their full potential, but also drive positive change and economic growth in communities across Malaysia. Moreover, by empowering women entrepreneurs, we can help close the gender gap in entrepreneurship and promote gender equality in our society,” said Juliana Adam, Director of Mereka and Chief Executive Officer of Biji-biji Initiative.

Applications for the WiE Programme are now open, and interested teams can apply via the Women in Entrepreneurship official website at <>