Promote entrepreneurship among underprivileged families, NGO urges

National 2 minutes, 0 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Society for Community Outreach and Training (SCOT) is calling on other non-government organisations (NGO) working with underprivileged families to encourage them to become entrepreneurs through regular workshops.

“We want to help those in poverty come out of it and be sustainable (entrepreneurs). That is why we are not keen to just provide basic necessities to the families every month, but develop them to become sustainable,” said SCOT vice president Nurul Wadaah Mohd Noor.

She told The Brunei Times the workshops will be a platform for the families to get together and also encourage each other to start a business for their own sustainability.

“I think all the NGOs can come together and bring along the families they are working with, and share knowledge and skills on running a business,’’ she said.

Nurul Wadaah said some underprivileged families are keen on starting a business, but have no idea how or where to start.

“When these underprivileged families come together in the workshop, they can motivate each other and have sharing and brainstorming sessions,’’ she said.

The vice-president said SCOT advocates for entrepreneurship through their micro-finance project, where they try to establish what skills members of underprivileged families have and what they are interested in.

“We then develop a business plan for them, take into account how much capital they need and lend them money to start their business. Most of these families only rely on their welfare of $250 a month, so to make sure their business will be successful, we go to their house everyday and help them with marketing and packaging their products,’’ she said.

For one of the families they are working with, SCOT bought the mother of seven a gas tank and cooking equipment so she could start a home business. Both the mother and her husband are unemployed and receive a total monthly welfare of $300 from the Community Development Department and the Ministry of Health.

Nurul Wadaah said they lent her capital to start her business at the beginning of the year. After only four months, the mother paid back the loan. “Her business has been going very well. From the weekly profit, we deduct 10 per cent to get back the capital we lent her. She currently sells food items like char kueh (asian deep fried donuts) to convenient shops and earns up to $30 a day in profit,” she said.

The Brunei Times