Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are one of the country’s main drivers of economic diversification. With the combined support of the government and various organisations, a number of start-ups have made significant progress and shown promising results.
Agrome IQ started out with a simple vision of helping farmers make better decisions. Founded in 2017, Agrome IQ supports digitisation of farm management processes to increase farm quality and productivity.
With its educational mobile application SPROUT (iQ), anyone can learn about farming and start their own farm in their backyard. Workshops are also available so that growers can receive farm management guidelines while sharing with the community their progress and produce.
In May 2019, Agrome IQ announced that it had raised a six-figure Pre-Series A funding led by Singaporean VC firm Cerana Capital. Founder and CEO of Agrome IQ Dr Vanessa Teo said that Agrome IQ can increase its operations and product ranges with the funding while expanding its footprint in Brunei Darussalam and Singapore.
Agrome IQ marked another milestone in June 2019 when it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with national agencies from the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). Through the MoU, Agrome IQ was officially endorsed by the BIMP-EAGA on a project titled Digitisation of Smallholder Farmers. The agreement was signed to cooperate on supporting Agrome IQ’s smart farming platform for farmers and agro-based businesses in BIMP-EAGE areas. The founder expects to attract 100,000 farms in two years, which can generate a massive dataset to be used for agricultural forecasting, modelling and artificial intelligence.
With an aim to nurture an Al-Quran literate generation, Al-Huffaz Management connects educators to students for Al-Quran recital classes as its core business activity.
CEO and founder of Al-Huffaz Haji Loqman Al-Hakim bin Haji Hamdan had the idea to start the company after he realised a shortage of private Al-Quran teachers. In a short period, he managed to gather Al-Quran tutors and started teaching over 50 recital classes a week. In 2017, Al-Huffaz Management won ‘Best Social Impact Startup’ at the inaugural Brunei Rice Bowl Start-up Awards.
The matching service recently achieved its milestone of having 1,500 students in Brunei. Al-Huffaz Management is expected to expand its matching Al-Quran teaching service to Singapore after signing an MoU with Asatizah of Singapore in October 2019. The company currently manages more than 100 skilled educators who are licensed to teach the holy book of Al-Quran.
Launched by Respin Alpha, Super Squad is an online platform which hosts recreational football and futsal matches. With more than 3,500 players registered, Super Squad has hosted over 1,000 games.
The establishment of Respin Alpha stemmed from the desire to play football together. Respin Alpha Co-founder Faezal Murni said he has been playing football since he was young. However, as he got older, it became hard for him to look for fellow players. At one point, he was unable to play football for months. “That’s why I created this platform, so that people could come together for a game of football. It’s a 20-minute, fast-paced game with a referee,” Faezal said.
Respin Alpha recently became the first Brunei sports-based start-up to be backed by Tourism Malaysia to expand to Sabah with the Super Borneo Championship 2019. The online platform of Super Squad is the first of its kind in ASEAN, allowing players to come together to have a game of football or futsal. With the support of Tourism Malaysia and Sabah Tourism Board, players based in Brunei could easily play with new friends in Sabah and vice versa. Respin Alpha aims to make football more accessible locally and regionally.
Since 2013, Generasi Bekarih has been actively involved in organising youth leadership and motivational training through various camps and programmes. In September 2017, Generasi Bekarih was officially established as a social enterprise.
Co-founded by Hanis Osman and Syukri Jamil, Generasi Bekarih aims to unlock the leadership potential among youth. Generasi Bekarih has organised several basic leadership camps that aim to generate self-improvement and develop leadership skills. The participants are mostly made up of students from higher learning institutes and youth association members who seek to improve their way of life.
Among the services offered by Generasi Bekarih are leadership transformation camps, motivational talks and team building workshops. Its programmes are split into tiers and age groups.
The Junior Youth Camp is a two-tier programme focussing on discovering and exploring leadership skills for secondary school students aged 13 to 17. Meanwhile, the three-tier Leaders Transformational Camp is open to ages 18 to 28. In May 2019, Generasi Bekarih held the Youth Empowerment Forum with the theme ‘Empowering Youth through Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship’. The forum acted as a stepping stone for youth to take action in developing the nation and achieve the goal towards Brunei Vision 2035.
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