Brunei entrepreneurs need to think global

Brunei entrepreneurs need to think global
Deputy Ministry of Finance Dato Paduka Awg Hj Bahrin Abdullah (seated centre) in a group photo with other government officials and participants of the Community Incubation Programme at UBD's Entrepreneurship Village yesterday.

Entrepreneurs in Brunei need to keep their knowledge on the business trends around the world up to date, said the Deputy Minister of Finance yesterday.

"We are entering an age where our business ecosystem requires a deeper understanding of the fast changing and globally connected environment that our entrepreneurs must continue to navigate in order to build a better future and promote economic growth," said Dato Paduka Hj Bahrin Abdullah at the closing ceremony of the five-week Community Incubation Programme 'Venture Showcase' at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).

The programme had 12 local entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, capabilities and passion to form a community to help develop more business opportunities in the Sultanate.

"What we see at the end of the programme is a group of forward looking entrepreneurs with the aspiration to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Brunei Darussalam," the deputy minister said.

The programme is part of the National Entrepreneurship Agenda (NEA) developed by the Ministry of Education and UBD.

Programme director and visiting professor at UBD Professor Steven Kenneth Gold said: "The National Entrepreneurship Agenda aimed to assist people to achieve more in life through entrepreneurship."

NEA's objective is to support Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Brunei to enable locals to support their families by providing employment to others, he added.

Participant Rainforest Gallery founder Dato Shofry Abdul Gahfor said he learnt beneficial skills such as knowing the business language, conduct and style.

"I have worked under the government for 32 years and I have to change the way I communicate with others when doing business," said the retired Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Dato Shofry said the programme helped him to shift from the public sector norms to the business culture.

"There is one session called the 'Hot Seat' where you presented your case to others and receive constructive criticisms," he said.

Another participant, Nasi Mengatok Abang (NMA) founder Suherdy Suli said the programme made him see more creative ways to expand his business.

"I want to introduce delivery system in the future since I know that most locals prefer deliveries to their home," he said.

"Currently, my company receives more than 200 orders every day."

Suherdy has seven employees working with him right now and aimed to provide more job opportunities to those without high academic qualification.

"I came from a less educated group of people, so I wish to help reduce unemployment to those who are in a similar situation," he said.

NEA aims to create and support high growth local entrepreneurs, and drive job creation and economic growth in the country.

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