Launched in 2018, the i-Usahawan programme is an initiative by the Ministry of Energy to support young Bruneians to start and grow their business.
Through this programme, participants may secure a contract with the government, governmentlinked companies (GLCs) and statutory bodies for a minimum of three years.
During the contract execution period, entrepreneurs are mentored to develop their business and entrepreneurial skills. Participants undergo training facilitated by the Energy Business Academy and Industry Business Academy.
The former is managed by the Brunei Shell Joint Venture (BSJV) companies, while the latter is under the purview of Darussalam Enterprise (DARe).
Training modules include procurement process, human resource management, government tendering process, and health, safety, security and environment (HSSE) management. Also available are the Micro Bootcamp and Start-Up Bootcamp by DARe. The ministry continuously monitors the development of these businesses through quarterly
engagements with the entrepreneurs and contract owners.
The programme reached a milestone on March 6, 2019 when it signed with three local businesses. Syarikat Amira Barakah was awarded a contract to provide Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) with a canteen and vending machines.
Meanwhile, Munch Brunch Canteen and Mortar Events were awarded contracts to provide cleaning and event management services respectively for Brunei Gas Carriers Sdn Bhd (BGC).
Eleven more contracts were signed shortly after. On August 1, 2020, the Ministry of Energy reported that over 170 locals have found employment through the 14 contracts.
The programme has assisted numerous local entrepreneurs to kickstart and manage their business.
One of these young entrepreneurs is Mohd Muammar Aiman bin Haji Sharif, Managing Director of SB Kani Company, which has been with the i-Usahawan programme since 2019. His company provides grass-cutting services, itchcleaning and light regrading services for nonhydrocarbon areas for BSP.
In July 2020, he shared that his company has a total of 79 staff, all of which are local. Grass cutters make up the majority, totalling 61. The rest are contracted drivers, foremen and office staff.
He also added that with the programme support and mentorship under BSP, SB Kani as a start-up has a chance against large companies that are veterans in their respective fields.
Another entrepreneur under i-Usahawan is Hajah Haryanie binti Haji Bujang, Managing Director of Munch Brunch Canteen.
The company started out as a small business that focussed on selling pre-made meals from offices in Belait District.
After signing with BGC under i-Usahawan, the company expanded its services to cleaning and the provision of
sundries and consumables for BGC.
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