| Khal Baharulalam |
THE potential role of social entrepreneurship in combating the continuous emergence of issues pertaining to social development requires new approaches to address problems such as high levels of youth unemployment, social ills as well as economic and social inclusion.
This was highlighted by the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Datin Paduka Hajah Adina binti Othman, in her speech to the participants of the 2014 THiNK BIG Innovate Forum, which was organised by the iCentre and held at the Radisson Hotel yesterday.
Bearing the theme ‘Social Entrepreneurship: Doing Good Business’, the forum involved discussions on various mediums of doing business that best benefit the needs and norms of society.
“A social enterprise is a business created to further a social purpose in a financially sustainable way,” noted the deputy minister, adding that social enterprises are “noble efforts aimed to achieve social, cultural, communal, economic or environmental outcomes” without losing the core values of business – the earning of revenue to ensure sustainability.
This sentiment was further supported by the iCentre’s Senior Executive, Pg Zainul Asri bin Pg Abdul Razak, who said, “Social entrepreneurs are individuals who utilise innovative solutions to societal problems”.
The forum also provided participants with a broader insight and better understanding into the social entrepreneurship industry.
Meanwhile, three speakers comprising Standard Chartered Bank’s Senior Manager, Marilyn Graeme; Director of Partnerships and Co-Founder of Green Brunei, Fatin Arifin, and the Director of the NUS Entrepreneurship Centre, Professor Wong of Singapore, later combined their insights on the emerging trend of social entrepreneurship during a dialogue session moderated by Commercial and Prosperity Manager at the British High Commission in Brunei Darussalam, Delwin Keasberry.
It was also established in the forum that the rapid growth of small and medium sized enterprises should be supported continuously and encouraged further in the Sultanate, as it can improve Brunei’s economic development.
The forum was attended by dozens of entrepreneurs and community-based organisations.