11 youths conclude entrepreneurship camp in Kuala Lumpur

National 2 minutes, 26 seconds


ELEVEN young Bruneians recently returned from Kuala Lumpur after attending the ‘Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Generation: Startup Weekend’ workshop.

Held from August 4-6, the event was aimed to ideate, create and develop products and solutions that has potential to grow and impact the ASEAN Community.

Sharing their experience at the ‘Youth Cultural Movement 2015’ held at the Sultan Hj Hassanal Bolkiah Silver Jubilee Park in the capital, one of the Bruneian delegates, Dk Ratna Siti Nooraidah Pg Dato Paduka Hj Hamzad, said that the event serves as a bootcamp and enabled them to network with other YSEALI alumni from other ASEAN member states and share over 100 business start-up ideas.

According to Dk Ratna, the Bruneian participants were among the 125 participants from all ASEAN countries comprised of university students or young professionals who have already started or plan to start a business, or who work in small enterprises.

“During the 54-hour workshop, we get to pitch business ideas and at the same time find our own team to further develop it,” said Dk Ratna.

“The idea that I brought forward was to improve entrepreneurship and economic development of Brunei; basically creating a platform for young aspiring entrepreneurs to build their capacity and skills by facilitating them in relevant workshops,” she added. 

The programme was facilitated by the US Embassy in Malaysia in partnership with the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre.

Currently Dk Ratna and her team members are recruiting more youth to be involved with social projects and as part of the sustainability plan to ensure that the project will keep on going.

Meanwhile, another Bruneian participant, Norhajatunajibah Kifli, said that the StartUp Weekend has taught her more about the importance of recognising opportunities, from idea pitching processes and other skills such as working with people and bringing the best out of every team member.

“The project we pitched for was entitled Square Up, an app to make debt management simple, easy to manage even for a regular Joe like us. It lets you keep up with multiple loans and interest charges, and give out debt consolidation recommendations,” she said.

“What happened was a couple of investors have shown their interests for its developments and have given us pointers along the way. We also won third place for this project!” she added.

Norhajatunajibah’s team hopes to materialise the project in the near future as she is currently focusing on her two current projects; ‘YASBrunei’, a social social engagement project on youth fighting against human trafficking and ‘PechaKucha Night’, a platform for individuals to present their interest in Brunei.

All participating team in the YSEALI programme will receive long-term mentoring and coaching which is envisioned by US President Barack Obama to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the ASEAN region, strengthen cultural and regional exchanges, apart from strengthening ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community.

 The Brunei Times