YEAB to continue ‘magical’ initiatives

|     Danial Norjidi     |

THE Young Entrepreneur Association Brunei (YEAB) is looking to continue its efforts and initiatives in 2019 to develop entrepreneurs with vision as well the passion to drive the development of the nation.

This was shared by YEAB President Fatin Arifin during a recent interview with the Bulletin.

Reflecting on how the last year was for the association, she said, “We embarked on a transformational journey to redefine the role of YEAB, as we wanted to remain relevant after 18 years of establishment especially against the backdrop of our economy and the urgency for young people to support our national development aspirations.

“At YEAB, we realised we needed to play a proactive role in providing a platform for growth and development of entrepreneurs by promoting impactful networking and peer-to-peer learning and mentorship with industry captains.”

Sharing some of the association’s highlights last year, she noted that they delivered a number of initiatives, specifically three YEAB Insight events, two Business Mentorship Series, six Open Chats, one entrepreneurship talk as well as leading the delivery of the Entrepreneurship Plenary for the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in conjunction with National Youth Day 2018.

Entrepreneurship talk participants in a group photo. – YEAB

“YEAB INSIGHT brought together 200 young entrepreneurs in three dinner networking events throughout the year, we hosted six Open Chat sessions as part of our outreach which gathered over 80 aspiring entrepreneurs and hosted two Business Mentorship Series with captains of industry to share insights on business with our members and invited entrepreneurs.

“We also supported various Startup Weekends as judge, mentor and sponsor, and we led the delivery of the Youth Entrepreneurship Plenary 2018 hosted at the International Convention Centre in conjunction with the National Youth Day celebration which brought together over 250 participants to the two day forum on entrepreneurship.

“Beyond that our members also supported various mentorship initiatives at various institutions throughout the year and we also signed a partnership with Progresif to collectively support the development of entrepreneurship in Brunei,” she added.

Asked on YEAB’s hopes and plans for 2019, she said, “In 2019 we would like to continue on the efforts and initiatives and aspire to push the envelope a little bit further and position YEAB as the leading entrepreneurs network in Brunei and the region.”

Sharing her thoughts on the current environment for entrepreneurship in the country, she said, “The entrepreneurial scene is thriving with passionate young people venturing into entrepreneurship out of both necessity and opportunity, with some expecting a temporary career choice as they wait for a permanent opportunity, whereas others find the field to be empowering and motivating and make it a permanent vocation.

Fatin also highlighted, “When things seem challenging, it is easy to be discouraged especially when business isn’t going the way we expect it to be. It is also fairly common for entrepreneurs to fall into the trap of thinking we are alone in facing challenges. Being passionate and driven is important in business but to sustain it requires a combination of skills, knowledge, maturity and network.

“We call on the young people to join the YEAB network to meet other driven and like-minded entrepreneurs and develop more opportunities to grow your business. We truly believe magic happens when young people come together.”