| Danial Norjidi |
THE upcoming Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE) Summit 2014 represents an opportunity for young entrepreneurs around the Sultanate to discover business opportunities and develop potential partnerships in the Commonwealth region, and should not be missed.
This point was put forward by the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Brunei (YEAB), who are organising the upcoming summit that marks Brunei’s first time hosting the event.
The annual CAAYE Summit sees 200 dynamic young entrepreneurs from Commonwealth Asia countries collectively meet for three days to network, establish business linkages and learn from field visits, conferences and workshop sessions.
This year, the summit is being hosted from November 16-18 by the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Brunei (YEAB), the organisation that represents Brunei in the CAAYE. Following a decision to change the venue from Pakistan to Brunei in August, YEAB is now heading the inaugural hosting of the yearly summit.
Yesterday’s press briefing was led by Del Goh, the President of the YEAB and Fatin Arifin, the Summit Chair and CAAYE Country Representative for Brunei.
As Fatin said, “We have been present at both the past CAAYE Summits in Mumbai and Colombo over the last two years where we brought local dynamic young entrepreneurs to participate, gain exposure and network with other emerging young entrepreneurs.
“We always came back feeling inspired by the learning, positivity and the whole new network we gained. Therefore, when the YEAB was nominated to host the summit for the CAAYE, we accepted the challenge with open arms,” she said. “Of course, this responsibility comes with the challenge of upholding the CAAYE’s standards of excellence which we intend to achieve by working in partnerships with both the public and private sector.”
The summit will see delegates discuss and jointly prepare a final communique which will articulate their commitments and recommendations to be submitted to member governments through the Commonwealth Secretariat.
As was explained yesterday, the CAAYE was formed with an eye towards not only connecting young entrepreneurs in the Commonwealth Asia region, but also to help be a voice to their respective member governments with regards to policymaking for the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The upcoming summit will be focused on sharing best practices around the central theme, “Innovate with Purpose, towards building a more sustainable and socially responsible entrepreneur ecosystem.”
This is the theme upon which the communique will be centred, with a focus on innovative and responsible entrepreneurship.
Asked what she hopes to see result from the summit, she said, “For me, it’s the business opportunities. I want more Bruneian entrepreneurs to have partnerships with people from the Commonwealth young entrepreneurs’ network. That’s something I really want to see come out of this.”
“Also, I really hope that some investment will come into Brunei out of CAAYE, as it could elevate CAAYE’s influence regionally. Business opportunities and partnerships are always things that we want to promote at the end of the day.”
Del Goh shared his thoughts on this, underlining his hopes to see participation from Bruneian entrepreneurs, regardless of whether or not they are YEAB members, as the summit represents a huge opportunity for Bruneian business.
He said that he would like “to have Bruneians just come and participate in this summit, to talk to people from outside of Brunei and for them to expose themselves to new ideas and new perspectives.”
“Even if it is not their field, just come and get some fresh ideas on what is abroad and to be able to create some opportunities for themselves. Just come down, participate and meet new people.”
The CAAYE Summit 2014 is endorsed and supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
In a press release provided by the organisers, Katherine Ellis, the Director of the Youth Affairs Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat was quoted as saying, “The CAAYE Annual Summit is a unique chance for like-minded young entrepreneurs from across the Asia region to gather – to build connections and partnerships, to share knowledge and good practice, and to increase skills and understanding of enterprise.”
“The 2014 summit will be a brilliant opportunity to visit the wonderful country of Brunei Darussalam, and explore its economic environment and trade prospects,” she added.