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OneMeal: The Rise and Fall of Businesses During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Written by Amirah Fatimah, member of HungerHurts Marketing Team


If there’s one thing Malaysia is known for, it’s how we celebrate food from various cultures. From pasar malam, bazaar Ramadan, to your neighbourhood nasi lemak stall(s), these vendors know that one way to feed the hearts of Malaysians is through wholesome food.


Did you know that 98.5% of Malaysian businesses consist of small and medium enterprises (SME)?


They make up 70% of Malaysia's workforce. Thus, these small vendors are the backbones of our economy.

The COVID-19 pandemic did not only affect the world medically, but also economically. The greatest hit were especially amongst small business owners, some who are amongst the B40 & M40 groups.


With the implementation of new SOPS/practices such as social distancing and movement restrictions, a lot of them are struggling to stay afloat.


The return of MCO earlier this year has caused about 50-70% of small businesses to shut down. Moreover, cash aids like PENJANA and PRIHATIN are not sustainable enough to help these businesses in the long run.

However, despite these setbacks, one sector that has been booming is the e-commerce sector.


According to GlobalData, the e-commerce market is expected to reach MYR51.6 billion by 2024, increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.3% between 2020 and 2024, making Malaysia one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia.

Fuelled by the fear of going out and going to physical stores, consumers now prefer purchasing items online, be it clothing or food.


With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can easily get food delivered right to your doorstep.


Revenues have tremendously increased for platforms such as Grab, Shopee, Lazada during this pandemic. Some businesses have now taken the leap to operate online by utilizing social media platforms to run their businesses. E-commerce might be a good thing as it could revolutionize the economy but how does this affect our nasi lemak and pisang goreng stalls that rely on physical presence?

Not many small food vendors can opt for online platforms to showcase their food items as merchant commissions can go up to 30%. During these trying times who can really afford that? Furthermore, technology literacy is needed to flourish online.


This is an important gap that has not been bridged by the e-commerce market. How do we help our favourite food vendors sustain themselves in this increasingly competitive market?

This is where we, HungerHurts, bring in the OneMeal initiative. OneMeal is a 2-in-1, non-profit initiative where we help small food vendors continue their passion in providing wholesome food for everyone. With just RM10 for a meal, these food vendors would be making food for B50 families, orphanages and other beneficiaries under OneMeal. Donors would not only be helping these small businesses survive, but also help those who are in need as well.


Also added bonus – if you miss going to bazaars and pasar malam, you too can order from these food vendors as well!



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