12th LiveWIRE Brunei Business Awards kicks off

|     Lyna Mohamad     |

THE 12th LiveWIRE Brunei Business Awards was officially launched by Permanent Secretary (Industry) at the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry Pengiran Haji Mohd Hasnan bin Pengiran Haji Ali Hassan, the guest of honour, at the Press Conference Hall of the International Convention Centre (ICC) yesterday.

Wholly funded by Brunei Shell Petroleum Co Sdn Bhd (BSP), the Awards is an initiative by LiveWIRE Brunei to reward and give recognition to individuals who have shown excellence in their business planning and existing business operations.

It also has the goal of supporting the country’s continuous efforts to diversify its economy and effectuate the rapid development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Brunei.

Deputy Permanent Secretary (Corporate and Industry) at the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry Hajah Tutiaty binti Haji Abdul Wahab and Deputy Permanent Secretary (Energy and Power) at the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry Pengiran Haji Jamra Weira bin Pengiran Haji Petra were present.

After the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa Selamat, Country Value Manager at BSP and Chairperson of LiveWIRE Brunei Hajah Rosita binti Haji Hassan delivered her welcoming remarks, followed by a speech from the Permanent Secretary (Industry) at the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry.

Permanent Secretary (Industry) at the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry Pengiran Haji Mohd Hasnan bin Pengiran Haji Ali Hassan officiates the 12th LiveWIRE Brunei Business Awards. – LYNA MOHAMAD

Since its introduction in 2001, the programme has evolved to include industry-focussed “preferences” of national interest, with participants joining from a range of programmes, including the Brunei Entrepreneurship Education Scheme (BEES), LiveWIRE Energy Programme (EP), BSP Energy Business Academy (EBA), Shell LiveWIRE International ‘Let’s Go Trade’ programme (LGT), Higher Institution Entrepreneurship Prog-ramme (HI-EP), and LiveWIRE Business Plan Series (BPS).

Groups such as the Youth Development Centre (PPB) and other private colleges are also involved in the programme, while other categories of participants have also joined the programme, notably individuals from secondary schools and pre-university and higher education institutions, as well as LiveWIRE programme alumni.

Automation and Robotics, Food Security Aquaculture & Agriculture, Paddy Plantation (AgroBIZ) and Agropreneur, Energy Solutions and Innovation, and Ecotourism are among the examples of industries that have been added as special preferences to the programme.

The LiveWIRE Brunei Business Awards Start-Up Funding Scheme (BASfs) meanwhile, was launched officially in parallel with the LiveWIRE Business Awards 2017-2018 held in April 2018.

This funding scheme was targetted at participants of the LiveWIRE Brunei Business Awards in the following categories: Category ‘A’ (Business Plan) – LiveWIRE Programme Participants, and Category ‘B’ (Enterprise) – LiveWIRE Business Start-Up (six months to three years in business).

The scheme was extended to nominees under the LiveWIRE Business Plan Series and those selected from other collaborative programmes such as AgroBIZ and Energy Solutions.

Successful BASfs recipients will receive interest-free loans, offered with a flexible payment system and mentorship for a period of 36 months. Funding for the loans falls in accordance to the percentage of start-up capital, ranging from BND5,000 to BND50,000.

The goal of the initiative is to assist in the starting up of businesses, including securing start-up capital for earlier phases of the businesses, while those already in business are provided support to accelerate their businesses and make them sustainable.

Five BASfs recipients signed their first contract agreement, amounting to a total of BND155,000 in funding, in July 2018. BND145,000 was also awarded to eight local start-ups in January this year.