i-Usahawan companies see promising development in their business journey following their participation in the government-led initiative with several new contracts already secured prior to ending their contract with the programme.
Three local businesses HanR, DMOS Technologies and Munch Brunch Canteen have seen improvement in their manpower, business relations and confidence to serve potential clients.
The i-Usahawan programme was introduced by the Department of Energy the Prime Minister’s Office to support local youth entrepreneurs to start, own and grow their own businesses and secure their first contract with the government, government-linked companies (GLC) or statutory bodies in the energy sector.
For Hajah Haryanie Haji Bujang, the owner of Munch Brunch Canteen, said that the programme has helped to boost her sales, leadership development and better staff management, compared to the time prior i-Usahawan.
The office cleaning and support services company’s first contract was with Brunei Gas Carriers in 2019 until March 2022 but was extended for another seven months this year.
“We started off with seven staff and within a span of three years, we managed to secure a five-year contract with Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP). Now, I have a total of 94 staff,” she said, adding that the contract is for the Provision of Office Cleaning Services for Non-Hydrocarbon Assets.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer of HanR Hairulalimin Ramli said that upon joining the programme, the cleaning and maintenance company secured their second project within six months.
“We do intensive cleaning and maintenance to offices and homes with all local workers. It is no doubt that the i-Usahawan programme gave value to our company as it gives confidence for our prospective clients to work with us,” said the ceo.
He further said that although his contract with the programme is ending soon the company has been able to gain several clients such as Tungku Estate, Rimba Estate, RTB KB Studio and Pulau Baru-Baru, among others.
Sharing the same sentiment, General Manager of DMOS Technologies, Dzaidenny Muslim said that the i-Usahawan programme has given them the credibility to serve clients.
“It makes a good story as well saying that we are supported by a government initiative. It gives us the leeway to be able to talk even to the banks to take out financing and facilities,” said Dzaidenny.
The printer leasing company secured its first contract with PetroleumBRUNEI in 2019 where they started with just eight printers.
“Previously we served the smaller markets and via the programme were able to serve larger organisations. Today we have about 8 to 10 clients and some 40 units of printers in total,” said the general manager.
With their i-Usahawan contract expiring in 2023, DMOS Technologies have been able to get new clients along the way.
“It is about building our future runway in terms of growth of the company, and we are using the five-year contract as a foundation… we do not want to solely rely on one contract. We must build a sustainability plan for us to move forward,” said Dzaidenny.
The i-Usahawan programme was launched on 1 August 2018 during the 13th National Youth Day where it provides a government-led market intervention in the energy sector through the provision of business contracts and capacity-building initiatives.
The programme serves as a platform to produce resilient youth entrepreneurs who are able to sustain and grow their businesses with the ultimate goal to become the next key player in the industry said the energy department in a statement.
The programme was expanded to the non-energy sector in 2021 under the purview of Darussalam Enterprise (DARe).
Thirty-nine contracts within the energy sector have been identified for the i-Usahawan Programme since its inception whereby 22 contracts have been awarded to 31 youth entrepreneurs.
The programme has since offered employment opportunities to 365 locals. Meanwhile, for the non-energy sector, a total of 47 contracts from six clients have been identified.
Both Department of Energy and DARe are actively collaborating to ensure more opportunities are available to encourage the development of youth entrepreneurship in the country.
The programme contributed to the country’s nation-building through its entrepreneurship activities.
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN