Co-chairperson of BASIC 2019, YB Iswandy giving a speech during the launching ceremony. Image: Rafidah Hamit

The Brunei and Southeast Asia Social Impact Convention (BASIC) 2019 launched on Tuesday with emphasis on connecting social enterprises, companies, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) with Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) initiatives.

Yang Berhormat Iswandy Ahmad, a legislative council member who is also the event co-chairperson, said the convention is organised to support and promote organisations that empower communities and innovate for a better change of the world.

“BASIC 2019 aims to become a platform that connects people with social enterprises, NGOs and companies with CSR initiatives with the incentive to build an economy and community that is equitable and fair for all,” he said.

“We believe that businesses can lead the way in providing a solution to the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems while working together with the society,” he added.

YB Iswandy further said that communication between the three aspects is lacking in the sultanate even with various social impact projects and NGOs.

“However, sustainability is still a challenge. Social enterprise is still a new term (in Brunei) and there’s not much coordination (between agencies) hence there’s a lot for us to learn.”

Participants of the BASIC 2019 event. Image: Rafidah Hamit

Jointly organised by Perspective Insan Academy and Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Community and Outreach (EICO), the two-day event took place at the Business Marketing Communication Centre of International Graduates Studies College (KIGS).

Carrying the motto Innovation, Meaningful, Partnership, Action, Community and Triumph (I.M.P.A.C.T), the event saw local and regional speakers from various agencies sharing their knowledge and experiences to a total of 60 participants from schools, NGOs and companies

“We want to create a community where SMEs, NGOs and social enterprises have their own purpose in society – where there are partnerships between businesses and the community.”

“It is important for both public and private sectors to network with the society,” he said, further adding it would improve and build a stronger community with social enterprises and CSR through actions taken by entities.

The convention aspires to be a stepping stone and platform for local and regional participants to network and understand more about the aspects and possibly lead to potential collaboration.

Participants of the BASIC 2019 event. Image: Rafidah Hamit

“It is hoped that participants will not rely on the government to lead national development but to work together to be part of the solution to social and environmental issues.”

“I hope that everyone understands that it’s important to give back to society and the environment in order to start an impactful change.”

On Wednesday, participants engaged in forums focusing on CSR and exploration visits to Pins & Needles, SMARTER Brunei, Living Earth and Progresif Celullar.

The event concluded with a feedback and networking session between the participants, sponsors and speakers.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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