Community for Brunei prepares for fresh start

Lyna Mohamad

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam’s (BIBD) corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative ‘Community for Brunei’ – first launched in April last year – was re-launched yesterday and will continue to provide more support to the Bruneian community with new initiatives.

This was announced at a press conference at the BIBD Headquarters in the capital yesterday.

BIBD Chief Marketing Officer Hajah Nurul Akmar binti Haji Mohd Jaafar noted that the bank is proud of this initiative, which is a first of its kind in the country. It gives the ability to enhance the social development of society while bringing the community together to assist those in need.

She added that it also provides more opportunities for micro enterprises to digitalise their business, in line with the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and the Digital Economy goals for the Sultanate.

The initiative was launched at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country to support local micro enterprises reach more customers. However, Community for Brunei is more than just a platform to provide support and relief during the pandemic, Hajah Nurul Akmar said.

“Our hope going forward is that Community for Brunei will become a central platform for community causes, bringing different parties together to provide more assistance and support for local enterprises’ growth development while allowing people to give back to the community.”

Meanwhile, Shinny Chia and Intan Abu Danial from Community for Brunei re-emphasising the main objectives of Community for Brunei, highlighted the initiative’s vision, which is to serve the community with high quality services and support different causes and social needs.

BIBD Chief Marketing Officer Hajah Nurul Akmar binti Haji Mohd Jaafar in a group photo. PHOTO: LYNA MOHAMAD

They also added the significance of maintaining the three crucial objectives of the initiative to provide a marketplace that supports the development of local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), particularly in marketing and digitalisation.

It also support causes leading to improved quality of life in line with Brunei Vision 2035 goals and organising collaborative and communal activities with key stakeholder to address social changes.

By adopting a whole-of-nation approach, the initiative aims to work with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to serve various causes for the fulfilment of Brunei Vision 2035 and Maqasid Syariah such as the ‘My Action for SDG’s’, which aims to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among children and youth, working closely with the platform.

Community for Brunei also collaborated with Society for Community Outreach and Training (SCOT), through the #CommunityforSCOT campaign, where the campaign aimed to provide entrepreneurship skills to challenged individuals, especially unemployed mothers by encouraging them to sell their homemade cooked meals through the Community for Brunei platform.

In serving MSME’s, the platform aims to onboard local products and entrepreneurs onto the virtual marketplace to enable them to reach a wider audience such as visitors to the website may purchase Sembada 188 rice – a locally produced, high-yield hybrid variety that is organic and pesticide free, harvested by the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) Agro-Technology Campus students in Kampong Wasan.

Making purchases on platform is quick and convenient, and items are delivered directly to the customer.

Also announced at the press conference was the upcoming ‘Community for Ramadhan’ initiative inviting the public to experience the spirit of Ramadhan online, by ordering meals from local micro enterprises and having them delivered to their homes.

Artisan Hari Raya hampers filled with a curated selection of local handmade goods for the festive season will also be available for purchase through Community for Brunei.

Since its launch, Community for Brunei initiative has carried out Community for COVID as well as the first Community for Ramadhan where the initiative also collaborated with NGOs and other organisations.

Such collaborations included collaboration between Jab Gym with Community for Brunei helped raise funds for Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam through the sales of handmade juices and Premium Granola Energy Bars.