Pride of place for locally made products, services

Aziz Idris

The Borneo Bulletin Yearbook (BBYB) MSME Showcase, highlighting locally made products and services, drew to a close yesterday.

Held at One Riverside in Jalan Gadong, over 20 local businesses featured in BBYB joined the event along with business solutions provided by Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) and imagine.

For Sara Mumtaz of Mumtaz Collections, participating in the event pulled in more customers for the modest fashion brand.

“We usually join up to five events every year, but due to COVID-19, most events are cancelled or postponed. We are glad to get a spot for this event and customer feedback has been great,” she said.

Mumtaz Collections is one of the participants of the BIBD’s entrepreneurship development programme BIBD Catalyst.

A vendor at the showcase. PHOTOS: AZIZ IDRIS
FROM LEFT: Sara Mumtaz of Mumtaz Collections, Zayn Sabri and Dayang Akmar

Ten local producers under DARe’s (Darussalam Enterprise) Bruneian Made initiative were also highlighted at the showcase. The food tasting sessions from the vendors was a popular hit among visitors.

A representative of Rumah Gelato shared the same sentiment.

“Since the pandemic started, our shop experienced quite slow traffic whereas at the showcase, there are tonnes of people and we had to restock our gelato several times in one day,” she said.

The three-day event, launched by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah was geared towards providing a platform for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to showcase their products and services.

It aimed to encourage more people, especially youth, to take the start-up route and become successful entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, a large crowd thronged the venue at One Riverside to witness the showcase and show their support for the MSMEs.

One visitor felt like the event was hosted abroad.

“This is my first time attending an event here and I must say, this is a perfect venue for an intimate showcase of local entrepreneurs.

“We need to support our local business and having an event such as this is a good platform to improve their business and gain more customers,” said Zayn Sabri.

Another visitor Dayang Akmar believes that more events should be to highlight local MSMEs.

“When it comes to MSMEs, acknowledgement is very much needed. Exposure is one key factor for budding entrepreneurs to succeed,” she said.