A government-led youth entrepreneurship steering committee has been established to better facilitate the younger population to start and develop their businesses, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam said yesterday.
The Sultan said in his titah during the 14th National Youth Day celebration at the International Convention Centre (ICC) that such committee will be responsible to implement necessary initiatives to ensure youth-based businesses can become more competitive and contribute well to the country’s growth.
The steering committee, said the monarch, was just one of the many platforms provided by the government to encourage innovations among youths, particularly through entrepreneurship.
This may include the iUSahawan, a platform that gives local startups higher chances of securing government or government-linked contracts through a series of classes and consultations.
Last year, the government has issued a total of 60 contracts, 10 of which have been awarded to youth-led companies.
A total of 200 contracts have been targeted to be issued and awarded by 2021 under such initiative.
Additionally, the monarch also lauded youths for continuing to take up to agriculture and the creative industry. He also encouraged them to leverage on technology to further their pursuits.
Themed ‘Future Ready Youth’, this year’s National Youth Day focuses on young Bruneians closely involved in the use of technology and entrepreneurship. A total of 88 youth-based businesses and organisations were lined up during the celebration.
Recipients for the four annual awards – Excellent Youth Award, Youth Leader Award, Youth Service Award and Youth Project Award – were also announced yesterday.
Hjh Noor Monasalieana @ Suzie Hj Mohd Salleh was feted the Excellent Youth Award for her role in leading the Malam Minggu Pusat Belia, a weekend initiative that gathers youth vendors and creatives.
Besides being a member of the Youth Entrepreneurs Association of Brunei (YEAB), Hjh Noor Monasalieana is also a manager to 7 companies in the country.
The Youth Leader Award went to Society for Community Outreach & Training (SCOT) President and Ministry of Education officer Pg Salimatul Sa’ada Pg Mohd Salleh who had successfully led a number of social-based projects.
Dr. Hjh Ummi Fa’izah Hj Abd Rahman won the Youth Service Award for her commitment in developing youths through a number of volunteer programmes including ‘Zero to Hero’, ‘Youth Protection’, ‘Bicara An-Nisa’ and ‘Brunei Peduli Palestin.’
The Youth Project Award went to ride-hailing startup DART for being able to provide employment to 150 drivers of whom mostly are youths.
Waqiuddin Rajak | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN