By Mandeep Kaur, Community Affairs Manager, Microsoft Malaysia

Last month, we announced a partnership with Malaysia’s Ministry of Youth and Sports to work on addressing the opportunity divide young people face in Malaysia.

Such a partnership between the private and public sectors is a sure sign of how Innovate for Good, the main pillar of Microsoft’s YouthSpark programme, is gaining a stronger foothold in Southeast Asia. Diverse and inclusive engagement of all stakeholders is important; this shared vision and action plan will help us to bring about more effective changes in tackling the issues.

The Innovate for Good event (8-9 October) was part of a number of satellite events we hosted in the lead-up to the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES). It was attended by the Minister of Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin; the Secretary-General of Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah; the United States Secretary of State’s Special Advisor on Global Youth Issues, Zeenat Rehman; US Ambassador to Malaysia Joseph Yun; Microsoft Malaysia’s Managing Director Carlos Lacerda; and 140 Malaysian youth. Such a turnout produced a number of open and constructive discussions on all parties’ concerns, ongoing activities and upcoming plans.

Turnout at Innovate for Good launch at Microsoft Malaysia’s office

John-son met Jia Chiun and Krane at the 2012 Innovate for Good Asia Pacific Summit in Singapore, after which DreamX joined the EPIC Homes team. They then developed an online platform to collect, organize and manage information on EPIC's volunteers, donations, indigenous homeowners and other resources for EPIC Homes. EPIC Homes is an organisation that constructs modular, prefabricated homes for Malaysia's Orang Asli indigenous population, 82 percent of whom (about 12,300 families) currently live in dilapidated and unsafe shelters.

GES took place a few days later (11-12 October), and our Senior Director of Global Community Affairs Akhtar Badshah represented us in sharing views on business innovation and entrepreneurship.

Microsoft booth at the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit 

The first event was a panel discussion on “Big Business and Start-up Collaborations” led by Microsoft, Abrar Capital and IBM, as well as nonprofit organisation Kauffman Foundation. The discussion brought up various perspectives on the role businesses and start-ups can take in collaborating on innovative investments.

Akhtar also presented at “Public Private Partnerships 2.0: How PPPs Help Entrepreneurs Tap into the Full Diversityof a Global Entrepreneurship Ecosystem”, which was hosted by US Special Representative for Global Partnerships Drew O’Brien. Akhtar announced the latest regional partnership platform to promote entrepreneurship, FALCONS@MENA, and discussed other similar initiatives (LIONS@frica and TIGERS@Mekong) and the impact achieved to date.

Partnerships with the public and private sectors, as well as participation of the youth with aspirations of using technology to do good, are essential for the success of Innovate for Good. As YB Minister Khairy said in his statement on our partnership, “We have a responsibility of nurturing and training young people, but this role is not exclusively the Government’s and is a responsibility shared with the private sector and other key stakeholders. We are glad that Microsoft has been supporting entrepreneurs in the effort to develop human capital, specifically to assist in the development of IT skills through training opportunities and mentoring programmes.”

“We have a responsibility of nurturing and training young people but this role is not exclusively the Government’s and is a responsibility shared with the private sector and other key stakeholders. We are glad that Microsoft has been supporting entrepreneurs in the effort to develop human capital, specifically to assist in the development of IT skills through training opportunities and mentoring programmes.”

Khairy Jamaluddin, Malaysia’s Minister of Youth and Sports