Armando Bartolome, a renowned franchise developer based in the United States (US), invited to deliver a talk at the Brunei Mentors for Entrepreneurs Network (BMEN)’s Mentor Learn @ Lunch, an initiative under Darussalam Enterprise (DARe), shared his experiences as a business mentor; how to overcome challenges commonly faced by micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and networked with other BMEN mentors to inspire them to continue their efforts in guiding and growing local businesses to succeed.
The networking and engagement event was organised exclusively for BMEN registered mentors to exchange ideas and best practices on developing businesses through mentoring.
Armando has over 30 years of experience assisting more than 800 businesses across Asia, Middle East and the US. He is an active mentor in Go Negosyo, a non-profit organisation in the Philippines that brings together key stakeholders and enablers to grow competitive Filipino entrepreneurs. Armando also volunteered to participate in BMEN’s Power Brunch, an activity allowing mentors and businesses to network and discuss matters related to business over a casual café setting. Armando also visited several promising local establishments to provide advice and share his experiences in franchising.
Armando’s visit is one step towards BMEN’s plans of focussing on developing areas within Brunei’s priority sectors – food, ICT, tourism, downstream oil and gas and services. The visit is also an effort to strengthen ties between BMEN and the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN), which is a project designed to help micro small enterprises (MSEs) from the ASEAN region access money, market and mentorship to scale up their operations, and improve their profitability and sustainability.
In 2019, AMEN successfully established public-private-partnerships (PPPs) in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, developed 10 mentorship modules, recruited 48 AMEN mentors and trained 127 MSEs.
The project is currently in its second phase to enhance its modules, recruit 30 ASEAN mentors and business coaches and mentor 300 MSEs from the ASEAN region.
Since its launch in March 2019, BMEN recorded over 825 business engagements among its pool of 82 volunteer mentors and 218 registered business mentees.
BMEN has also conducted themed events ranging from general business areas such as marketing, human resources (HR), finance, business leadership and strategy.