VSAPAC Dialogue at EDC

25th June 2010, Friday – A few selected entrepreneurs and incubatees under the incubator program of the Entrerpreneurial Development Centre (EDC) were invited for a followup of discussions on how SME Development could be improved.

The facilitators were consultants from Vector Scorecard Asia Pacific (VSAPAC). They basically asked 3 main questions where the SME’s shared individually:

  1. What problems do they have as SME’s
  2. What facilities provided by government did SME’s find useful.
  3. What SME’s find that can be improved.

Among the problems that  SME’s experience were:

  • Difficulty of getting Funding
  • Difficulty in getting the goverment subsidized food packaging
  • Lacking of information on how to proceed in starting/expanding business and exporting products.
  • The difficulty of getting exported due to the difficulty of getting standards required as those required an operational premise, which would require funding.

Among the Facilities that SME’s find beneficial were:

  • Courses held by EDC
  • Workshops and Forums held by Business Development Services (BDS)
  • Incubator program under EDC
  • Tradeshows that were sponsored or subsidized by government
  • SME financing programmes

Among the things that could be improved:

  • Courses are sometimes facilitated by a malaysian, therefore they do are not familiar with the customs, rules and regulations of the country. Courses were therefore are mostly theoretical and lack practical values when applied in Brunei. The SME’s would like to have an experienced and succesful local to mentor them to become as succesful.
  • Talks and Forums seems ineffective as not much visible results.
  • Incubator facilities were located far from any town centre. Incubation programes are limited and not well marketed.
  • Tradeshows are sometimes are not well organized and promoted. e.g. the last halal expo coincided with the local products expo. The local products expo was not well advertise as it was only seen through big banners, and the radio advertising was done not on a popular channel.
  • SME Financing programmes were difficult to obtain.
  • Nutritional Analysis facility is slow and there were no queueing  system. As some SME’s have tried to apply since 2008 by stopping by, and each time they were asked to come again. The facility may be slow due to the lack of analysis equipment.
  • Packaging materials provided for SME’s are limited to certain expos and are not available continuously.

The facilitator ended the discussion by summarizing everyone’s points into basically create with the assistance of the government, an SME development roadmap on how anyone ne can be groomed to become a succesful entrepreneur.

Facebook Photos

Allow yourself to be copied and market yourself for free!

this is an observation from google/youtube on tedtalk

it is possible to use youtube’s users “infringing copyrights” to market the pirated products and bring in revenue for the copyright holder. In their case, they had the “pirates” upload filled with ads leading the viewers to original content, and generated revenue from there. in this case chris brown’s forever.

I guess that means several things for content developers. such as:

  • musicians/music labels can allow their content to be pirated as long as the pirated content generates leads
  • photographers can allow their copyright picture to be used as long as it leads the “pirate’s” viewers to the photographer. maybe by putting a watermark of the photographers website on the images.
  • book publishers allow excerpts to be shown online, but contain a link to purchase the books. I think amazon.com does this.

This video reminds me of Chris Anderson’s “free”. Give something for free and get your customer to pay.

Training Kids to be Entrepreneurs

What do you do with students who suck in academics?

Teach them to be entrepreneurs!

LiveWIRE Bright Ideas Workshop

Another Bright Ideas Workshop was held at LiveWIRE.The workshop was held from the 15th to the 16th of June 2010.

Among the topics were:

  • Truth about money
  • The secret of becoming rich
  • feasible business ideas
  • Basic Business Accounting
  • Opportunities

Bright Ideas Workshop is the first of a series of workshops held by LiveWIRE. Other workshops are:

  • Be a Succesfull Owner/Manager (BSOM) – a workshop that presents local speakers ranging from entrepreneurs and managers sharing their experience and advices on business.
  • Business Plan Series – a Workshop on creating a business plan
  • Business Dialogue – A forum or dialog between businesses
  • Leadership Camp – A 3 day /2 nights camp away from society and discovering themselves and their leadership.
  • Business Plan Awards – A competition on business plans and business startups

more picture are in facebook photo album.

for updates of when the workshop and other workshops will be held  keep your eye on www.livewire-brunei.com

BIMPEAGA Biz Expo Briefing Roadshow

16th January 2010, the BIMPEAGA council held a briefing for the Biz Expo in kucing this september. The invited guests talked about:

  • introduction to bimpeaga and their roles in it.
  • details on the biz expo in kucing such as the venue, the facilities and the costs.

At the end the guests were allowed to ask a few questions regarding the exhibition. among the questions and discussions were:

  • Price and payment of the exhibition
  • discussions of technical difficulties in transporting goods across borders.
Tag pics at my facebook album.
more information about the biz expo can be found from the official website.

SME Cluster Development Workshop

A Workshop on SME Cluster Development was held at MIPR on 8th June 2010. The participants consisted of the government sectors, Business Development Services, and Entrepreneurs from Food and Tourism industry.

The workshop facilitator was a commonwealth consultant named Stanley Ansong. In the morning, he introduced the idea of Cluster Development the participants, where it has been done, and a general idea of how brunei SME’s can take advantage of it. Continue reading

International Halal Market Conference 2010

The International Halal Market Conference (IHMC) 2010 was held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) on the 5th and 6th of June 2010.

The Guest of Honor for the conference was Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajah Masna. The conference covered on topics concerning the past, present and future of the halal market. Among the topics discussed were:

  • updates concerning the Brunei Halal Brand Initiative.
  • the international market trends and how halal can be the megatrend.
  • how a huge company like nestle is making halal as a business model.
  • Halal Finance and investments.
  • National Halal Programmes from countries that are close by like Singapore, Thailand and Philippines, as well as those in Australia, UK and Bosnia Herzegovina.

Details of the Conference can be read from the IHMC official website.

There were several issues that were raise from Questions and Answers sessions as well as the discussion dialogue held at the closing of the conference. Among them were:

  • How each country has made their own halal certification process and branding,  may benefit from putting a single halal certification for all countries. as this would help the countries to import and export to each other more easily. OR to have a single marketing company for all the halal certified countries/companies e.g. diamond marketing.
  • The issues of different countries may be practicing process that may seem dubious to each other. e.g. the use of stunning before the slaughter, or using machinery for slaughter.
  • Promoting Brunei Halal Brand by having companies undergo a sort of American Idol version for Halal Business or Business plan. and then have them present at the next IHMC.
  • Promoting CSR or Community/Corporate Social Responsibility as an Islamic way of doing business.

View the facebook photos here.