| Azlan Othman |
WOMEN entrepreneurs in Brunei Darussalam have been urged to embrace Information Technology and undergo more training.
They were also urged to tap the vast Asean market of 600 million consumers by Dr Astrid S Tuminez, Microsoft Regional Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs in Southeast Asia at the Women in Entreprenuership workshop at the Radisson Hotel yesterday.
“Brunei Darussalam has great entrepreneurs. It has great potential and many great things are happening in Brunei.
“For instance, in terms of entrepreneurial space, SMEs make up 66% of the GDP and more than half is owned by women.
“The IP legal system that respects intellectual property rights is available here, which is important for motivation as people are protected.
“There is nothing in Brunei to stop entrepreneurs, especially women, from reaching the world.
“I encourage women to study IT … a little bit of technology could go a long way,” she added.
She said Brunei needs to improve its World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking which stands at 101 out of 189 economies.
“It is not good enough and more work needs to be done. The Sultanate also needs to improve its global gender equality, which stands at 98th out of 142 countries.
“As a wealthy nation, you could do more and entrepreneurship is one way to narrow the gender inequality gap.
“Networking such as the Brunei Women Business Council is also important for entrepreneurs to learn to gain strength.
“Women also need more training, financing and networking so they can go beyond the small and micro financing to those of medium and large scales.
“Education and training are important for entrepreneurship to flourish.
“Without education and human capital, entrepreneurs won’t be able to compete globally,” she said, lauding the Brunei government’s policy, which is “right to support entrepreneurship”.
The years from 2010 to 2020 are the time to expedite the development of SMEs in this country in order to realise Brunei’s Vision 2035.
The partnership of government, enterprises and private sectors in the Sultanate is the key variable which would help Brunei in meeting the vision.