Barber shop at Brunei stadium gives youth founder an edge

Barberku was officially opened on Sept 4, 2020. - BB

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: One of the founders of Barberku, a barbershop managed by four local youth, Abdul Mateen Zainalabidin said business is good but could be better.

Barberku operates at an office room under the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium steps next to the VIP parking space which was renovated and turned into a shop unit by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports to help local youth to venture into entrepreneurship.

“Business has been good for us. The Covid-19 pandemic was never really a problem for us as we took extra measures to ensure our customers’ safety,” Abdul Mateen said.

“However, Covid-19 restrictions affected our income since most tenants here rely on ur businesses as our sole income.”

When the shop units were completed, five of the 17 businesses were awarded grants under the Youth Development Centre (YDC) entrepreneurship incubation programme to operate at the location.

The businesses were offered a space along the same row as Barberku. Of the four shops operating there, only Barberku survived, with the loss of customers compounded by increased rent.

The barbershop was officially opened by former minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan Abidin on Sept 4, 2020.

“We were honoured with him officiating our opening,” Abdul Mateen said adding that since opening the barbershop, Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Aminuddin Ihsan has been very supportive.

“We are thankful for his support, motivation and advice. We also saw his good intentions of keeping us on track when he drops by to have his hair cut,” said Abdul Mateen. He added that they were initially given a three-month barber course at YDC.

Upon completion, they were awarded with the grant and a place to start their business at one of the shop units, where they were later joined by the other tenants.

“It would be advantageous if there are more businesses renting the vacant units as our neighbours. We had good traffic especially during the fasting month but with more shops coming in, it can be higher.”

For now Barberku has a good number of customers resulting from their marketing, and from word of mouth by customers and joggers around the area. – Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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