In the pursuit of uplifting small businesses in Brunei Darussalam, the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) through Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) has taken significant strides in digitalising operations. This year, various programmes and workshops have been rolled out.

Participants are encouraged to digitise their businesses from the beginning during DARe’s Micro Business Bootcamp, through onboarding of services such as digital accounting, inventory control and marketing, while Accelerate Business Bootcamp helps entrepreneurs develop innovation and efficiency in their businesses by leveraging on technology. DARe also helps small businesses by funding up to 70 per cent of costs related to adoption of technology through its Co- Matching Scheme. These are some of DARe’s efforts in digitising conventional businesses.

To create new startups, the Brunei Innovation Lab (BIL) introduced the Innovate Challenge which is a fiveweek hackathon where participants attend a series of workshops covering ideation and design thinking, product development UI/UX and prototyping, financing, branding and positioning and pitching. BIL is a collaborative effort, featuring partners such as Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP), Shell LiveWIRE Brunei and Datastream Digital Sdn Bhd (DST), geared towards cultivating an integrated technology and innovation ecosystem.

DARe continues to elevate digital skills among small businesses through its capacity-building programme Industry Business Academy (IBA) which integrates digital components. One example of this is the Digital Accounting Workshop which onboards local businesses to embrace Cloud-based accounting systems. Such workshops enhance local businesses’ ability to record, manage and track transactions efficiently.

As part of its on-going digitalisation efforts, DARe also conducts one-on-one consultation and support for participants in using these digital tools beyond the workshop. The BIL regularly runs exposure workshops called “101s” that explore the use of various tools such as artificial intelligence, data analytics and Internet of Things in businesses.

In addition, DARe also leverages on the implementation of regional initiatives such as ASEAN SME Academy as well as Go Digital ASEAN and APWINC’s IDEAS Project through which DARe works closely with local implementing agencies to conduct training programmes to broaden digital skills and literacy of small business owners and encourage smarter adoption of digital solutions to grow their businesses.

The BEDB, in collaboration with foreign direct investment (FDI) partners, emphasises sustainability and lowcarbon goals by employing advanced technologies, whereas DARe plays a pivotal role in encouraging businesses to adopt eco-friendly practices through the different programmes and initiatives offered to the businesses. The IBA programme recently conducted a ‘Sustainable Development and Entrepreneurship’ workshop to expose businesses to various sustainability concepts as well as global best practices to businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. DARe will continue to raise awareness and facilitate knowledge transfer of sustainable practises to appropriate business sectors.

DARe’s collaborative efforts with industry groups and educational institutions, such as Shell LiveWIRE Brunei and the Authority for Infocommunications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI), form a robust support system for businesses navigating the digital and sustainable landscape. This partnership ensures a clear pathway for local businesses, facilitating growth and development and support offered by the different agencies. DARe also continues to identify suitable partners and collaborators nationally and internationally that can further grow the local business landscape in Brunei Darussalam.


Brunei Press Publications