Budding entrepreneurs take advantage of increased visitors

National 2 minutes, 19 seconds


YOUTHS of Kampung Sungai Matan are seizing the opportunity by setting up small businesses to capitalise on the growing number of visitors.

Many of the young entrepreneurs were seen gathered at Kg Sungai Matan’s inaugural Fishing Festival. The festival is aimed to provide local residents a platform to sell and promote their products.

One of the young entrepreneurs, who preferred to be identified only as Yani, said that she was encouraged to showcase and sell her ‘shawl pins’ at the festival this year due to the launching of the village’s cultural stage or ‘pentas kebudayaan’.

“I joined as my mother too is selling local products such as ‘ikan masin’ (dried salted fish) and ‘belacan’ (prawn paste). Since (we are expecting more visitors this year), I decided to join and promote my shawl pin products,” said Yani, whose house was located near to the cultural stage.

Noting that that there has been an influx of tourists and visitors to the fishing village, she added: “I believe this is another stepping stone for Kg Sungai Matan and the stage is quite strategic too. Visitors would usually just walk and wander around. But with the cultural stage, it will be a one-stop for visitors to witness Bruneian culture and tradition, such as traditional dances, games and such.”

Siblings Siti Umairah Zaini and Kamaliah Zaini, were seen manning their mother’s booth and representing the village consultative council (MPK) of Kg Sungai Bunga yesterday.

They shared that they joined to fill in their free time and earn side income during the month-long holiday.

“We are selling the prawn crackers from Kg Sungai Bunga. We also have this chocolate fountain booth to attract (younger visitors). This is the second day but there are a lot of crowds flocking in due to the opening ceremony yesterday and the launching of the pentas kebudayaan today,” said Siti Umairah.

She told _The Brunei Times _that by joining such festivals and events, their profit can reach up to $300 to $400 per day.

Meanwhile, one of the visitors, Hj Hamdan Rosli, who came all the way from Kg Telisai, Tutong observed that more youth are getting involved in entrepreneurship which means that there is a positive change in mindset today.

“This is because young people are less inclined to be involved in businesses before. They would usually feel shy or embarrassed to join ‘bedagang’ (opening small stalls for business).”

He added: “This is a good sign (and it means that they are willing) to get experience before expanding their business and definitely earn extra money, especially during school breaks.”

Sungai Matan’s Fishing Village Festival is open to the public until December 28 (Sunday). It is aimed to introduce Kg Sungai Matan as a fishing village and reintroduce its Matan Homestay.

The Brunei Times