Young entrepreneurs need private sector support

National 2 minutes, 31 seconds


THE future of young entrepreneur can face turbulent times unless support from the public and private sector is increased and the heavy reliance on government employment reduced. Peer pressure and the lack of support from parents due to the 'government job' mindset are also challenges which young entrepreneurs face, leading to many shelving their business plans in early stages to a pursue career in the public sector.

This was said by a few concerned individuals and officers when interviewed by The Brunei Times during the Opening ceremony of the Incubator Programme at the Business School in Gadong, yesterday.

Siti Huzaimah Hj Jahri, the Second Entrepreneurship Training Officer for the incubator programme, in her opening remarks stressed that most graduates do not opt for self-enteprenuership as a career due to lack of education and awareness about the importance of businesses in supporting the economy. Job security provided by the public sector was another factor, she added.

"Most graduates from the Business School either opt for the government sector rather than developing their own businesses. This goes for the private sector as well," she said.

Siti Surani Mustapa, a graduate from the third incubator programme, reiterated the remarks made by Siti Huzaimah. According to her, she is the only one left from her batch of incubatees who is still keen on pursuing self-entrepreneurship. She is also in the final stage of developing her business plan before applying for the Microcredit Scheme from financial institutions to realise her dreams. "I am opening up a stationary store and I am in the midst of finalising my business plan. There are negative comments from both my parents and peers, but I am still going to pursue my dream," she said.

Yenni Sufina, also the only one left from her batch of incubatees, stressed that financing was part of the challenges faced by young entrepreneurs although there are hidden potential in their businesses. "Banks which offer finance need collateral. As young and fresh graduates, we do not have that capabilities, although with this programme I might secure something," she said.

She added that peer pressure and negative opinions are the obstacles that might hinder her ambitions however, she claims that her persistence holds key to realising her vision of opening a book cafe similar to those abroad.

A survey conducted around the Business School premises showed that out of 20 only 5 admitted that they were keen to pursue their own business and the rest attributed the school as a stepping stone to a higher education, which can lead to a secure position in the government sector regardless of the school's effort to emphasise the importance of business in realising the nation's vision of diversifying the economy.

The Incubator Programme, which is currently in its fifth intake, is organised by the school to assist the young potential in realising their vision of achieving an effective business model. The programmes will also help in arranging the finance and practical business solutions. (JNB1)

The Brunei Times