Student-driven Sustainability Project of the Year Award

Social Enterprise for Economic Development (SEED)

Finalist of the Student-driven Sustainability Project of the Year Award


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Project sustainability is often expensive and painful thus rarely in place. Institutional concerted effort is required to ensure annual replicability of SEED-UMK. Top management support, capacities building ranging from staff competencies, resources to execution team with strong beliefs in orchestrating teaching, learning, research, community engagement, industry partnership, international networking into one service learning project, are essential. Having SEED Chapters successfully implemented in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, SEED was hailed as an “excellent example for more responsibility in business education” (by United Nations’ Head of PRME, Manuel Escudero), when presented at the first UN PRME Global Conference in 2008. The President of the Republic of Indonesia, who visited the first SEED village at Cisandori, Bandung in 2010, praised the villagers for their “creative problem solving”, which is the outcome of SEED participants working with villagers in developing the enterprise plan. The SEED program has helped villagers with different needs, from poor villagers requiring livelihoods to displaced indigenous tribesmen requiring help to adapt to modern life (Temiars in Malaysia). The success of SEED everywhere testifies to its replicability, adaptability, scalability, and extension to new contexts and audiences (new communities and students of non-management disciplines) with consistently high quality learning and contribution to villagers’ well-being. SEED prepares students to be effective future leaders, who are intercultural, empathizing, entrepreneurial, creative problem solvers, capable of empowering others to have similar problem-solving capabilities through mindset change, and thereby, potentially help transform communities and the world to meet the challenges arisen from globalization.

Key People

Dato Ir. Dr Zainai Mohamed
Emeritus Professor
Faculty of Technology and Informatics,  Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Dr Li Choy Chong
Emeritus Professor
University of St. Gallen, Switzerland


We thank Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, particularly Entrepreneurial Institute of UMK for the tremendous support given to the SEED Program throughout the past years. Special thanks to ASEAN Learning Network for program design and its member institutions for being the pillars of strength which ensures consistent international participation and program success.


SEED Program_Activity 1

SEED Program_Activity 2

SEED Program_Activity 3

SEED Program_Activity 4

SEED Program_Activity 5

SEED Program_Activity 6

SEED Program_Activity 7

SEED Program_Activity 8

SEED Program_Closing Activity

SEED Program_Student Presentation


Impacting lifes

Madam Da was a local akok seller. Akok is a famous traditional food in Kelantan, Malaysia, eaten as snack or dessert. It is made with flour, sugar, eggs, and coconut milk. Monthly income was less than USD200 and was struggling to support the family. Having little knowledge in business accounting and often shy away from engaging with external parties, sales have been limited confining to walk-in customers and repeating ones without promotion strategies. Production was often compromised by unattended workers. Madam Murni in Bachok owned a bakery hut and was talented in baking cakes, cookies, and muffins. Located in an isolated town, customer pool was within the neighbourhood and income earned was never suffice to escape poverty. SEED visited both Madam Da and Madam Murni. SEED participants worked tirelessly, examined challenges facing them and through proper diagnosis and analysis, enterprise plans were produced. Proposed ideas were accepted by agencies who recognised business potentials and financial assistance and training courses were offered upright. The rests are history. They enjoyed increased sales and improved store outlook, higher enterprise visibilities, thanks to the SEED outcomes and their perseverance. Transformed villagers continue to prosper; transformed participants continue to empathize; transformed executors continue to believe in imparting socially responsible learning. Together SEED brings hopes, materializes dreams through universities which were in the past labelled as ivory towers by those engaged in grassroots development work since most have noticed the seemingly detached conduct of researches. It is time to be redefined and be relevant.


Lessons learned

Throughout the years, the University receives requests from SEED alumni who wish to return and serve. Some SEED participants voluntarily served as our facilitators without requesting for incentives. UMK is heartened to be supported by people who are willing to walk the extra miles. Executors in the ASEAN universities who continue to sustain and embrace the program progress well in their academic career because they learn the essence of being contextual through SEED; students who are empowered and transformed leaders are now entrepreneurs, volunteers and enterprising individuals in the corporate sector. Constant visits to SEED village are always welcome by the community even though securing time, support and financial resources remains a challenge. The most surprising key takeaways are witnessing participants of the program getting transformed without them knowing. Academic staffs aim to deliver transformation effects onto students’ learning as iterated in programme objectives. Nonetheless, while journeying this process, they too are transformed of consciousness because case studies in hand are real for SEED village is the social laboratory for all; no one solution fits it all and multiple challenges surface. The contextual teaching turns them into responsible educators. Students are told to transform the mindset of villagers before they can help; they too are transformed because in the process of seeking solutions, they thrive for creativity and empathize. These skills are important given the current world which is losing its fight against poverty and where underdevelopment prevailed in regions facing economic crisis resulted from irresponsible management


What's coming?

Having implemented eight SEED programs, UMK focuses on results documentation and is in the midst of collating impacts brought about by the program, onto different stakeholders through measureable indicators. To further convince and secure endless support from multiple stakeholders including top management, faculty members and community, empirical evidence must be presented and made understood. Future plans include establishing a research centre and having dedicated teams focusing on developmental work which include documenting outcomes, securing grants, capacity building, to ensure heightened success through structured governance and monitoring mechanisms.



students involved in SEED




Villages involved


International participants


Government Agencies and NGOs involved


ASEAN university partners


Local university partners

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