Jakarta. Maybank Foundation, the corporate social responsibility vehicle of the banking giant Maybank Group, recently announced that its flagship community empowerment program Reach Independence and Sustainable Entrepreneurship —or shortened as RISE— has empowered more than 19,000 people with disabilities across ASEAN.
Maybank reported the RISE program has helped about 19,481 beneficiaries in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Laos.
According to Tan Sri Dato' Sri Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa, the chairman of Maybank and Maybank Foundation, the RISE program seeks to give tangible aid to disadvantaged communities as part of Maybank’s commitment to driving financial inclusion across ASEAN. It is also in line with the group’s M25 goal of improving the livelihood of one million households across ASEAN by 2025.
“Our sustainability agenda under the M25 plan is anchored on our mission of Humanizing Financial Services,” the Maybank chairman was quoted as saying in a recent statement.
“In driving this, we will continue to implement initiatives for the betterment of the people and society in the region, especially via high-impact programs such as RISE. This will be our longstanding commitment to further equip communities with lifelong financial skills and knowledge, addressing current and situational needs, and building financial resilience,” he said.
Maybank revealed that the top 40 percent of the participants trained had an average monthly income increase of 379.52 percent. About 70 percent of all participants were able to become self-sufficient and continue to thrive in running their businesses years after the initial training. This was also achieved without any loans or financial aid.
Malaysian RISE beneficiary Zulkiflee Hussein said that the program had benefited him, his family, and the people with disabilities in his area. Zulkiflee said the program has helped him grow his business and recruit part-time workers for more income. Not only could he provide a more comfortable life for his family, Zulkiflee said that he was able to motivate newly disabled people in hospitals.
RISE starts off with a three-day entrepreneurial and financial training.
Participants will learn about business strategies, budgeting, cash flow management, and resource planning. They will then receive mentorship for three to six months, during which they will receive guidance on starting a business, problem-solving, and driving income, to name a few. Reporting and tracking of their performance will follow to ensure a sustainable increase in income.
Beneficiaries will then get a chance to sign up for Maybank microfinancing facilities to grow their business.
Maybank Foundation carries out the RISE program in partnership with the People Systems Consultancy (PSC).
The banking group also said the program aligned with the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint 2025 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Recently, Maybank Foundation hosted a premiere ‘A Time to R.I.S.E.’, a documentary on the program, in Jakarta.