Dr Foo Yin Fah FCPA (Aust.)
Associate Professor Dr Foo Yin Fah is at the forefront of making a difference, one step at a time.
His interest in social work developed through the course of his work at Sunway University collaborating with various organisations, including CPA Australia, in many corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.
“I found that while CSR activities were good, most of the time, it wasn’t sustainable. I was looking for a way to help the underprivileged on a long-term basis and that was when I was introduced to social entrepreneurship,” says Dr Foo, who joined Sunway University in 1999 as a lecturer in search of something different after 10 years in the auditing and corporate sector.
“Educating the next generation has given me the kind of professional satisfaction that was missing in my previous roles. Being in this role has taught me to question accounting methods and theories, and to have a deeper understanding of why things are done a certain way,” he says.
In 2011, Dr Foo and his colleagues went to Singapore where they met with two social entrepreneurs driving change in society. “A social entrepreneur is someone who establishes a business with the aim of solving social problems or affecting social change. The business model contains a sustainable way to address social problems, while ensuring the business stays successful,” he explains.
Inspired by the positive impact of these businesses, and with social entrepreneurship being relatively new in Malaysia, Dr Foo convinced the Sunway Education Group to set up the Sunway Institute for Social Entrepreneurship (SISE) to provide the necessary support to mentor students to become social entrepreneurs. As SISE’s first Director, Dr Foo is taking the lead in empowering people to be “socially entrepreneurial change-makers” through education, research and innovative programs.
“I’m looking forward to learning more about the social enterprise movement and to support future social entrepreneurs in their journey to make the world a better place.”