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03-Aug-2019 : i-Usahawan initiative one of the highlights of the 14th National Youth Day Exhibition

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam and His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office together with other members of the royal family, graced the 14th National Youth Day at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Berakas held on 3rd August 2019. Organized by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), the 14th National Youth Day featured several exhibitions on the existing initiatives under the Government-led Youth Entrepreneurship Development programme including the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry's i-Usahawan programme.

Upon arrival at the event, His Majesty was welcomed by Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, as Chairman of the National Youth Day Celebration Executive Committee and Yang Mulia Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Matsatejo bin Sokiaw, Deputy Minister of Energy Manpower and Industry, as Deputy Chairman of the Celebration's Executive Committee.

The 14th National Youth Day was themed "Future Ready Youth", with a central focus on entrepreneurship and technology. Divided into 4 clusters namely Creative Economy, Social Enterprises, Sustainable Development and Volunteerism, the event celebrated the important role of youth in driving the country's social and economic development.

In line with the theme of the event, exhibitions were held to reflect the involvement of youth entrepreneurs in the country's economic development. During the event, His Majesty visited the booths of five youth entrepreneurs who have been recently awarded contracts under the i-Usahawan programme. The entrepreneurs through their companies - the Film Cartel, DMOS Technologies, Mortar Sdn Bhd, S.B Kani Company and Battle Pro Marketing and Management Services are providing services to the oil and gas companies; Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd, Brunei Gas Carriers Company Sdn Bhd and Brunei National Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd for a minimum period of three years. During the visit, the entrepreneurs shared their entrepreneurial experience since securing their first contracts under the umbrella of the i-Usahawan programme, while linking it to the Sustainable Development cluster.

An exhibition on the "Youth Entrepreneurship Ecosystem" (YEE) was also visited by His Majesty during the event. Present to greet His Majesty at the exhibition was Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Md. Hussein, Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry (MEMI). The exhibition featured the involvement of MEMI; Department of Agriculture and Agrifood and Department of Fisheries under the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT); Darussalam Enterprise (DARe), Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd, Brunei Association of Banks (BAB), Bank Usahawan and LiveWIRE Brunei in supporting the development of youth entrepreneurs.

During the exhibition, MEMI displayed information on the latest development of i-Usahawan initiative. In response to His Majesty's Titah when the programme was launched on 1st August 2018 during the 13th National Youth Day, the programme has been extended further to the Government, Government Linked Companies (Non-Oil & Gas) and statutory bodies. Since the launch, a total of sixty (60) ring-fenced contracts have been secured; 33 from the oil and gas, and 27 from the non-oil and gas. Ten (10) of these contracts, with estimated total contract value of B$16 million have been awarded to companies led by youth entrepreneurs. Six of the contracts were awarded by Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn. Bhd while Brunei Gas Carriers Company Sdn. Bhd and Brunei National Petroleum Company Sdn. Bhd each awarded two contracts under the programme. The remaining 50 contracts will be awarded following the natural expiration dates of current contracts. Through i-Usahawan programme, youth entrepreneurs will get mentorship and coaching throughout their contract execution period. The programme targets aspiring youth entrepreneurs between the age of 18 to 40 years, who have yet to secure a contract with the Government, Government-Linked Companies (GLCs) or Statutory Bodies in the last five (5) years.

In addition to the i-Usahawan programme, DARe showcased its newly launched initiatives, the Co-Matching Grant – a co-matching funding where the recipient of the grant "co-matches" 30 per cent of the total amount while DARe funds the remaining 70 per cent. DARe also showcased Brunei Mentors for Entrepreneurs Network (BMEN), a voluntary network that brings together business mentors comprising of successful entrepreneurs, industry experts, professionals and academicians who share their knowledge, experience and mentor growing businesses. Youth Ground, another new initiative provides Ready Built Factories at a cost effective rate to ease youth entrepreneurs to start, run and grow their businesses with favorable terms and conditions; as part of the opportunities for youth entrepreneurs to tap into.

Youth Entrepreneurship Ecosystem booth also featured LiveWIRE Brunei's Business Award Startup Funding Scheme (BASfs), which aims to support youth entrepreneurs and by providing seed funds to start-up companies. The scheme is part of LiveWIRE Brunei's contribution in nurturing entrepreneurs towards sustainable economic development.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood and Department of Fisheries showcased their contract farming program as a part of their contribution to Youth Entrepreneurship Ecosystem. The program offers land and fisheries aquaculture available for youth entrepreneurs to engage in farming activities. 20 hectares of farmland has been allocated for this program with 70 hectares of fisheries aquaculture available for fish cage farming activities.

More information on initiatives offered can be found in the YEE handbook:

National Youth Day falls on 1st August each year as a part of the effort of the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam to provide support in the provision of capacity building programmes, infrastructure facilities and fiscal assistance. In addition, National Youth Day is also a platform for youth to hold a special meeting to appreciate the contributions of youth development.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam while visiting the youth Entrepreneurs who have recently been awarded contract under i-Usahawan programme.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam during his visit to the Youth Entrepreneurship Ecosystem's booth

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam received a briefing on i-Usahawan programme

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a group photo with Officers and staff of MEMI and DARe during the exhibition