In line with its steadfast commitment to propel Malaysia towards a low-carbon economy, Hong Leong Bank seeks to collaborate with visionary sustainability changemakers to co-create innovative business solutions to revitalise and contribute to the circular economy.

The bank’s HLB LaunchPad program, now in its sixth edition, invites impact organisations and startups to present their groundbreaking ideas focused on circular economy principles, with the opportunity for further development in partnership with HLB.

Focusing on the country’s circular economy initiatives, the bank has adopted the theme “Circular Economy Solutions for a More Sustainable Tomorrow” for this year’s HLB LaunchPad program.

The circular economy aims to reduce waste and maximise resource utilisation through methods like reusing, recycling, and regenerating materials and products, all while minimising environmental impact.

The program presents three challenge statements for organisations to address: ‘Enhancing Green Building & Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions’, ‘Reimagining How Goods are Produced for SMEs’, and ‘Exploring Innovative Solutions in Waste Management’.

Kevin Lam, group managing director and CEO of HLB, emphasised the bank’s commitment to integrating environmental sustainability with economic viability, noting HLB’s track record in reducing operational carbon emissions and supporting green financing initiatives for businesses.

Through programs like HLB LaunchPad, HLB aims to drive the sustainability agenda forward and embed low-carbon businesses into the national economic landscape.

Over the years, HLB has consistently supported businesses in adopting environmentally-conscious practices in their operations. For instance, the bank has provided guidance and support to sustainability-focused social enterprises such as Refiller Mobile and Green Hero through HLB Jumpstart.

HLB has also organized Sustainability Roundtables in collaboration with the Small and Medium Enterprises Association (SAMENTA) to equip SME customers and partners with industry-level insights and guidance on integrating ESG considerations into their operations.

Alice Goh, HLB’s Head of Payments, Partnerships and Fintech Ecosystems, highlighted the bank’s focus on the circular economy as part of its commitment to impactful sustainability action. She stressed the urgent need to move away from the linear “take-make-dispose” economic model towards a more sustainable circular economy approach.

Businesses interested in participating in HLB LaunchPad 2024 have until 20 May 2024 to submit their applications. This opportunity offers startups mentorship from HLB’s top executives, industry leaders from the startup ecosystem, and a chance to win cash prizes and access funding through the BNM High Tech and Green Facility, along with the exciting possibility to pilot their solutions with HLB.

Through initiatives like HLB LaunchPad, HLB aims to empower entrepreneurs and startups to develop solutions that address the limitations of the linear system and contribute to building a more responsible and resilient future for generations to come.

The bank envisions these collaborations as a pathway towards embedding circular economy principles into business practices, paving the way for sustainable growth and environmental stewardship in Malaysia and beyond.

Interested participants are encouraged to seize this unique opportunity to refine their solutions, gain invaluable experience, and potentially forge a long-term partnership with HLB for commercialisation.

To apply and learn more about HLB LaunchPad 2024, please visit https://www.hlb.com.my/en/business-banking/hlblaunchpad.html.

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