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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on June 4, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's The Picha Project — which supports marginalised communities through a sustainable food catering and delivery business — won US$50,000 (RM299,000) at the Chivas Venture Global Final 2018 in Amsterdam on May 24.

This is the first time that a Malaysian made the finals.

In a statement, Chivas Regal said Lim Yuet Kim, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of The Picha Project, had joined 26 other finalists to advance through the global start-up competition step by step, as 27 were whittled down to just nine at the quarter finals.

Then, the semi finals saw the finalists further cut down to just five who proceeded to the main event at the TNW Conference in Amsterdam where the final five pitched in front of a live audience of 3,000, Chivas Regal added.

UK enterprise Change Please walked away with the greatest amount of funding, receiving US$350,000.

Apart from the US$50,000, The Picha Project also received US$3,182 from the Chivas Venture Voting Period. In total, The Picha Project received US$53,182 in funding for its social enterprise.

The Picha Project aims to provide financial empowerment to marginalised refugee communities in Malaysia through a sustainable food catering and delivery business. Lim and her team employ refugee families who leverage on their existing cooking skills to cater authentic, traditional meals to the public. In doing so, The Picha Project acts as a platform through which refugees can refine their professional skills, while earning an honest living.

Chivas Regal, one of the world’s leading Scotch whiskies, has this year joined forces with Europe’s leading tech festival, TNW Conference, to host the fourth annual Chivas Venture Global Final.

The Global Final was the culmination of the fourth year of the Chivas Venture. This year’s competition attracted 2,600 entries from across the world, which were whittled down to 27 finalists all competing for a share of Chivas Regal’s US$1 million fund.

The judging panel — which comprised, founder and CEO of I.AM.PLUS; Alexandre Ricard, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard — parent company of Chivas Regal; Sheila Herrling, senior fellow at The Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation; and Kresse Wesling MBE, co-founder and director of sustainable luxury brand Elvis & Kresse — assessed each start-up based on their ability to create sustainable change through a viable business model and potential to scale.


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