Lending Brunei business community a helping hand

  • Brunei
  • Wednesday, 22 Dec 2021

BIBD representatives and members of the media during the virtual press conference. - BB

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/Asia News Network) Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) on Tuesday (Dec 21) announced the launch of the refreshed BIBD SME360º Series.

The series has been redesigned to better serve the business community through a broader vision and mission as well as a series of initiatives including a microsite web platform and community engagement campaign aimed at helping micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to rebound from two years of pandemic-related challenges.

With the campaign series, BIBD hopes to assist the growth of a vibrant, dynamic and sustainable entrepreneurial scene in the country in line with the bank’s role as a partner in progress.

During the virtual press conference, it was shared that the campaign comprises initiatives that will provide information, resources and a network of support to both new and established entrepreneurs and professionals with an aim of making 2022 a profitable and prosperous year.

The multi-pronged campaign features the launch of a new microsite scheduled to open in January 2022, a 10-part series of industry-specific virtual talks and networking forums, as well as a three-month community engagement programme.

“BIBD’s strategic vision is aligned with Brunei Vision 2035 and recently, through our sustainability framework initiative, we hope to complement the government’s efforts to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) by creating a holistic plan that contributes towards lasting economic growth community, empowerment, healthier lifestyles and more environmentally conscious production and consumption,” said BIBD Head of Corporate Banking Group Koh Swan Sing.

He added, “It is no secret that success in the small and medium-sized business space is integral to a healthy and competitive economy. As the nation’s largest financial institution, we have a responsibility to support the more than 6,000 registered SMEs in the country and foster the growth of many more in the coming years.”

Highlighting 10 predominant industries in which local startups, including food and beverage, service industry, education, fitness, tourism, construction and oil and gas, the SME360º platform will use the new microsite to function as a toolkit and knowledge hub providing information, directories and guides on how to navigate and sustain a business in the Sultanate.

By including a library of helpful information, BIBD hopes to help cut through some of the difficulties startups face and empower more of the country’s youth to develop successful business ventures.

The initiative has been months in the works and has seen BIBD partner with startups from numerous industries to bring the idea to life, with overall curation of the initiative coming from collaborations with strategic marketing startup Firelight Sdn Bhd.

The project also draws from the experience of Curious Minds Sdn Bhd, which specialises in thought leadership and networking events and will be running a one-part series of virtual forums featuring business owners, thought leaders, industry experts and relevant stakeholders to discuss common challenges, share best practices, and exchange market insights to establish business opportunities within and outside of Brunei.

The collaborative effort also draws experiences from Community for Brunei, BIBD’s community-based social enterprise set up during the first wave of Coivd-19 to help small businesses reach their customer base digitally.

Through the programme, community members can look forward to engagements and events aimed at exposing people to new opportunities for skill building, eco projects and health programmes.

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