The i-Usahawan Programme that was launched by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on August 1, 2018 in conjunction with the 13th National Youth Day Celebration, is now two years old.
It is an initiative to provide business opportunities for aspiring local youth entrepreneurs to competitively participate in low risk (ring-fenced) contracts or tenders.
The programme began with 30 contracts from the oil and gas industry, and has since grown to include 42 energy sector contracts, from Government, Government Linked Companies (GLCs) and Statutory Bodies, while several more are also being identified for other sectors, said the ministry of energy in a statement.
The awarded contracts are run and managed by 100 per cent locals, from the owners down to the management and employees of the businesses.
The programme was initiated by the Ministry of Energy and its activities in the energy sector continue to be spearheaded by the Ministry to support the nation’s efforts towards fulfilling the Brunei Vision 2035 (Wawasan Brunei 2035) goals of enhancing the economy and developing local capability, by prioritising local business participation within the energy sector.
Through the i-Usahawan programme, the participating youth entrepreneurs would undergo SME Training prior to participating in the tenders.
“The training is facilitated by either the Energy Business Academy, managed by the Brunei Shell Joint Venture companies (BSJV), or the Industry Business Academy, under the purview of Darussalam Enterprise (DARe),” it said.
Some of the training modules include procurement process, human resource management, government tendering process, HSSE management, and several others.
The entrepreneurs are also encouraged to register and attend various entrepreneurship programmes offered by DARe such as the Micro Bootcamp and Start-Up Bootcamp, among others.
Moreover, the programme recently reached another milestone on March 6, 2019 with the first signing ceremony involving three local businesses.
Syarikat Amira Barakah was awarded a contract to provide canteen and vending machine services for Brunei Shell Petroleum Company whilst Munch Brunch Canteen and Mortar Events were awarded contracts to provide cleaning services and event management services respectively for Brunei Gas Carriers, which were then followed by 11 other contracts awarded under this programme.
“Through the 14 awarded contracts, over 170 locals have been employed,” the ministry added.
During the contract execution period, the entrepreneurs were given proper mentorship to assist in the development of their businesses and entrepreneurial skills, as well as to ensure any challenges are managed strategically.
The ministry also conducts continuous monitoring of the development of the businesses through quarterly engagements with the entrepreneurs and the contract owners.
The ministry is calling any Bruneian youths who are interested to join the programme must between 18 and 40 years old, have no prior contracts with the Government, Government Linked Companies (GLCs) and Government Statutory Bodies within the last five years and must be actively involved in the daily operations of the business.
The successful business must also be incorporated as Private Limited Company upon award of the contract.
More information on the i-Usahawan programme can be found at the Ministry of Energy’s website at http://me.gov.bn/iusahawan/Home.aspx.
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN