Kemari Farm, BenchLab bag top prizes

Lyna Mohamad

Kemari Farm and BenchLab were named the top two winners of the Youth Against Poverty programme in partnership with Futuremakers, a collaboration with Society for Community Outreach and Training (SCOT).

The Standard Chartered Futuremakers Programme awarded BND15,000 to the two top winners at a ceremony at the Indah Hall, Peak Performance Sdn Bhd of the Royal Brunei Recreation Club in Berakas recently.

Guest of honour, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin lhsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin presented the awards.

Senior government officers and bank stakeholders were also present. Kemari Farm received BND10,000 while BenchLab received BND5,000.

CEO Standard Chartered Bank Brunei Pengiran Aki Ismasufian bin Pengiran Haji Ibrahim said it was a challenging task narrowing down the finalists as there was much merit in all the pitches.

“I am extremely encouraged by the passion, courage and perseverance displayed by the participants. I want to congratulate the participants and finalists on their efforts,” said the CEO. He said the initiative tackles inequality and promotes greater economic inclusion and they aim to empower the next generation to learn, earn and grow through programmes focussed on education, employability and entrepreneurship, supporting disadvantaged youth from low-income households.

ABOVE & BELOW: Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin lhsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin and CEO of SCB Brunei Pengiran Aki Ismasufian Bin Pengiran Haji Ibrahim in a group photo with the winners; and (Left) CEO of SCB Brunei delivers his remarks. PHOTOS: SIM YH

“We want to use the unique skills of the bank, and of our employees, to share sills and build the capacity of young people to access jobs and economic opportunities that will help close the inequality gap.

“At Standard Chartered, our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity in the markets we operate in and by being here for good.”

Meanwhile Project Leader of Youth Against Poverty 4.0, SCOT Chai Rosli said all five finallists pitched their social enterprise solutions to combat poverty that incorporated the theme ‘innovation meets inclusivity’.

“The theme itself suggests the urgency of the need to think holistically in terms of approaching a problem to ensure no one gets left behind.

“We gathered brilliant entrepreneurs together for this year’s Youth Against Poverty in partnership for Futuremakers and these highly capable teams and individuals that will disrupt, re-invent and push the way social problems are solved, fill in and complement the current gaps there are in the market and the system, and most importantly work collaboratively to meet social, economic and community inclusion,” he added.

A total of 50 participants comprising 10 teams joined the three-day-workshop and forum. Five were chosen for a secondary round of pitching before announcing the two winners.

Kemari Farm is a farming start-up company operated by youth agropreneurs aimed at providing youth an incubation programme which teaches essential farming skills to create job opportunities.

The project aims to raise promote the importance of farming and developing the agricultural industry.

The expected outcome of the project is to have a successful youth operated farm at the youth development centre.

Kemari Farm Team comprisedMuhammad Hafizuddin, Abdul Wafee, Haji Muhammad Azim, Ahmad Malkan and Md Adli.

BenchLab pitched their project on a home massage service provided by the underprivileged named Ruma-Ke-Ruma that will identify suitable candidates and raise their competency in massage service.

Once achieved, they will provide home massage services to customers and earn income. An app will be used to streamline the process for safety and convenience for all parties.

A concept that has been proven in Indonesia, they believe it can be successful in Brunei.

They hoped the project will uplift masseuses from their underprivileged status.

The team comprised four passionate individuals who want to create a positive impact in Brunei and believe Ruma-Ke-Ruma will improve many lives.

The remaining finallists of the programme were Big BWN Project, Covered by AnNisa and KadaiRuncit.com where Big BWN Project plans to launch a restaurant to employ ex-convicts enrolled in the reintegration course called Rakan Seliaan. They aim to empower ex-convicts wiling to break out of the cycle of poverty.

Meanwhile, Cocoon is an initiative by Covered by AnNisa aimed at empowering creative young Bruneians with the technical, entrepreneurial and competitive advantage required by the industry.

Seeing the unhealthy pattern of Fashion Design graduates left unemployed and potentials unpolished in the community, the team, comprising home-grown designers, fashion-marketers and production trainees, is committed to change the game.

Cocoon will enable passionate youth to pursue sustainable careers either as independent entrepreneurs or highly employable individuals.

With the shared facilities and series of industry-specific programmes run by Cocoon, risks will be converted into successes and hopelessness into confidence.

The KadaiRuncit.com on the other hand comprises six people seeking youth currently enrolled at the Youth Development Centre (PPB) through workshops engaging participants to formulate business ideas to eradicate social issues and determine the sustainability of the project.

The grant winners will be monitored for a year and will be guide by local and regional social enterprise experts to improve business ideas.

Futuremakers by Standard Chartered is the bank’s new global initiative to tackle inequality and promote greater economic inclusion, aimed at empowering youth with education, employability and entrepreneurship opportunities.

The theme resonates with SCOT’s Youth Against Poverty programme, aimed at encouraging youth to consider social enterprise ideas that could help alleviate issues and challenges faced by disadvantaged youth to help them learn, earn or grow.