AMIR Consortium Discussion with Local SME’s

13 March 2010 – On saturday morning, a handful SME’s were invited to introduce them to an initiative by BEDB to promote local SME’s that has been awarded to the AMIR consortium.

The Amir Consortium is made up of Alif Technologies, Mimit E Technologies, Indah Sejahtera Development and Services, and Rafiqun IT services. The project that they have awarded is on www.padian.com, which will be a business to business portal, to help match local businesses to other local businesses as well as foreign business or investments.

The participants were mostly from food production and manufacturing businesses in Brunei. The representatives of AMIR Consortium had an opportunity to listen to the frustrations of the SME’s in dealing with exporting their products overseas. Among those frustrations were:

  • Lack of Funding for Facilities, Machinery, Research and Development as well as for export. Especially in order to achieve the minimal standards or requirements to export to other countries.
  • Inadequate facilities such as Lab testing foods for nutritional information being too time consuming.
  • A lack of IT literacy for entrepreneurs to use the technology.

The representatives of AMIR had a few suggestions to help SME’s, but had admitted that they can only do so much, as they do not provide funding, but may help in getting the credibility for funding by obtaining for the SME a business partner that would help import/export or develop the SME.

It was shared that after discussing with more SME’s, the AMIR Consortium and http://www.padian.com may have its launch in the month of April.

More pics at: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=125580&id=550578077&l=9a53954f47

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VSAPAC Incubation Technical Assistance Programme

8th March 2010, Monday – An Incuabation Technical Assistance programme was held at Entrepreneurial Development Centre, Sinaut, Tutong. The programme was organized by Vector Scorecard (Asia Pacific) Pte Ltd.

Among the participant were incubatees, selected SME’s and officers from EDC.

The objectives of the program was to help incubatees and SME’s understand more Continue reading

SME Halal Workshop 2010

3rd March 2010 – MIPR held another SME Halal Workshop.

The event was held at MIPR building in Berakas. The opening remarks were given by the guest of honor – the new MIPR permanent secretary, and the head of entrepreneurial development centre (EDC).

The first talk was “Preparing SMEs for the Global Halal Market” by Abdalhamid Evans from Imarat Consultants. Among the topics he talked about were:

  • The global opportunities that exist for any SME’s venturing into the halal market.
  • How the halal market is not just about food, but also the logistics of transporting it, and also on products such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
  • How the recent global financial crisis has lead more people to consider more on quality rather than just cheap pricing.
  • Exemplary entrepreneurs in the US that succeeded in the Halal Market
  • List of attitudes that would make entrepreneurs successful. (I personally like the point about how we may need to sacrifice opportunities to focus on the right strategies)
  • How the Brunei Halal Brand that it had now made Brunei a Leader in the Halal Market.

The second speaker was Tina Jamaluddin. Her talk was about how her company started as a small sme and how it expanded into an internationally exporting company. She is also shared her tips on making an SME as successful.

In the the Q and A session later both speakers answered questions from the participants.

Later in the afternoon were talks by Rushdi of Mimit E technologies and Noel Shield of Ghanim International.

Related Article:

More pics of the event can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=123507&id=550578077&l=486b0463c3

Brunei’s Credit Crunch?

I was interviewed during the brunei national day and one of the questions asked was, what I was looking out for in 2010. I guess it has been on my mind for a while now, at I answered that I was a bit worried about the near future economics in Brunei, due to the recent MOF policy imposed on credit cards. So now after much pondering, I’m sharing more what I’ve been thinking about.

The banks in brunei have been imposed a new policy by the ministry of finance, http://news.brunei.fm/2010/01/12/banks-told-to-raise-minimum-credit-card-payments/, whereby

  1. Banks cannot issue a credit card to a person who doesn’t have their pay directly transferred to the bank.
  2. Credit cards that are not accordance to this rule is frozen, but the user is still obliged to pay the repayments, and is given 36 months to repay in full.
  3. All credit cards minimum payment will be changed from 3% or 5% (depending on the bank) to 8%.

I have been pondering about the possible consequences of these policies. There are already interesting outcomes:

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