Young entrepreneurs shine

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN) - The prize presentation ceremony of the 11th LiveWIRE Brunei Business Awards 2017-2018 was held yesterday at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas.

The LiveWIRE Brunei Business Awards programme is an integral part of the LiveWIRE International Programme organised around the world, and it is a fully funded community development flagship of Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP).

The LiveWIRE Brunei Business Awards is organised specially for young and enterprising Bruneians, and is designed to reward and give recognition to those who are outstanding in their business planning and existing business operations.

This is the 11th edition of the competition, since the first Business Awards took place in 2001. For 2017-2018, 33 entries were submitted for the competition, comprising 27 submissions under Category ‘A’ (Business Plan) and six submissions under Category ‘B’ (Enterprise).

Yesterday’s prize presentation ceremony saw the attendance of Deputy Minister of Energy and Industry, Dato Paduka Awang Haji Matsatejo bin Sokiaw as the guest of honour.

Entries were received from participants of the LiveWIRE Energy Programme, BSP Energy Business Academy and Shell LiveWIRE International ‘Let’s Go Trade’ programme. Entries were also received from secondary schools, tertiary, higher education and LiveWIRE programme graduates.

The panel of judges for the Business Awards comprised representatives from various sectors, including: audit and finance, banking, contracting and procurement; social performance; communications; and health and safety.

There were two main categories with their own sub categories. Category ‘A’ (Business Plan) saw participants assessed based on the viability and completeness of their business plans, innovative ability, presentation and pitching skills. For Category ‘B’ (Business Start-Up and Enterprise Development), participants were assessed based on the strength of their business model and for having significant potential for growth. Special preference was also given to industry-focussed businesses that will contribute to the nation’s interest.

For Category A0 (Lower Secondary), no team managed to earn first place, but second place went to the team behind The Samurai’s Phantom Fitness Centre, which is a private gym that uses an innovative ninja type obstacle course.

Category A1 (Upper Secondary) saw the Eco Brunei Ltd team win first place for their signature product, ‘Eco-Bn’, which aims to revolutionise the waste management industry in Brunei. Category A2 (Pre-University) was won by Ar-Ridhwan Kaligraphy, which sells and makes Jawi calligraphy products such as keychains, bookmarks, frames, t-shirts, headscarves and wall decorations.

In Category A3 (Tertiary, Institute of Brunei Technical Education) Tebuan Prenuer was named the winner for its signature product of sticky ice cream, while Category A4 – (Higher Institutions) saw no winners, with a prize presented for second place to A (+) Educator, which provides one-to-one private tutoring especially for research writing and proofread services, primarily for students of higher institutions.

Category AB – LiveWIRE programme participants saw no winner named, with the highest prize being second place, which went to Reverse Osmosis Water @ Life Water, which introduces a new production line through the use of high capacity machinery.

Category ‘B’ for LiveWIRE Business Start-Ups was divided into two sub categories. First place in Category B1 (minimum six months to three years in business) went to Hazeeyah Agro Farm, a business from Temburong that prepares quality salted eggs. Meanwhile, Category B2 (over three years in business) saw a consolation prize presented to TeachMe Guru, which is a platform to connect students and teachers for home tutoring.

In addition to these categories, the ‘LiveWIRE Brunei Exemplary Awards’ were also presented. The objective of this was to give formal recognition to those who have attained a high degree of achievement in their entrepreneurship venture.

The exemplary awards were presented as follows: Mechatronic Technology Sdn Bhd was named Most Sustainable Enterprising Company; Al-Huffaz Management won Most Progressive Achiever; Team One Environmental Technologies received Most Outstanding Enterprising Company; Syarikat Muqtazza won Most Innovative Enterprise; TeachMe Guru won Most Promising Young Entrepreneur; and Hazeeyah Agro Farm was presented the Most Outstanding Award.

Hajah Rosita binti Haji Hassan, the Chairperson of LiveWIRE Brunei and Head of Supply Chain Management at BSP spoke on the Business Awards in an interview with the Bulletin.

"These Business Awards have been very helpful for our young entrepreneurs, especially those budding entrepreneurs coming from schools and colleges, to motivate them to become entrepreneurs, and also to encourage those who are already in the business to grow their business further with the help and guidance from LiveWIRE Brunei," she said.

Managing Director of BSP, Dr Ceri M Powell, explained that LiveWIRE Brunei is a flagship programme set up to promote development of small and medium enterprises and specifically support youth employment for long-term sustainable economic development of the nation.

"It is funded by BSP as part of our commitment towards the economic development of the country," she said.

"In support of realising Vision 2035, we’re committed to growing sustainable local goods, services, talent and capabilities by developing local businesses within Brunei, enhancing the capacity, enhancing the skills, setting high performance standards and maximising opportunities to making local industry more competitive."

She noted that LiveWIRE Brunei was officially launched in May 2001. "BSP has therefore played a role for more than 17 years in developing this entrepreneurial talent in Brunei, and since its launch, LiveWIRE Brunei has helped more than 9,000 young Bruneians through various training programmes such as LiveWIRE Brunei Bright Ideas Workshops, Becoming a Successful Owner Manager, and the LiveWIRE Brunei Leadership Camp programme."