Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Brunei Town

Tunas Project provides opportunitites for underprivileged sellers

James Kon

Tunas Project marketplace, a collaboration between Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) has become a platform to enhance business knowledge and skills.

Located on the ground floor of the MoHA building, locally made products are sold to the public from 7.30am to 3pm on work days.

Head of Government Relations and Special Projects of BIBD Haji Mohd Yusri bin Haji Wahsalfelah said, “The idea of the Tunas Project marketplace was brought about by the Minister of Home Affairs Dato Seri Paduka Awang Haji Ahmaddin bin Haji Abdul Rahman.

“He had a vision of a market place or ruang for underprivileged individuals to earn a living.

“Since it is located at the MoHA building, we are looking at tapping into potential clients from government offices nearby such as Brunei History Centre, Adat Istiadat Negara Department, Radio Television Brunei, as well as businesses in Bandar Seri Begawan.”

He continued, “This is also a collaboration between the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and BIBD.

ABOVE & BELOW: Head of Government Relations and Special Projects of Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam Haji Mohd Yusri bin Haji Wahsalfelah speaks to a vendor; and Noraini biti Muhammad Amlee with another entrepreneur from Muallafprenuers Consortium. PHOTOS: JAMES KON

“The people selling at the marketplace must be trained, have business knowledge, and proper business governance and structures in place, including a company account and digital platform.”

He said, “The vendors are assessed on their capability to withstand pressure, the quality of their products and other criteria.

“We have 31 vendors providing more than 76 products. We want to make sure that their business will succeed and be resilient. We them to be sustainable.”

Haji Mohd Yusri added, “We have vendors from BIBD SEED Programme (Special Underprivileged Mothers Empowerment Entrepreneurship Development); Usahawan Bakarih Yayasan (Yayasan entrepreneurship Assistance programme); Muallafprenuers Consortium from Islamic Da’wah Centre (PDI); and One Village One Product (1K1P) programme.

“Vendors will learn from each other on how to improve their businesses. They will learn from BIBD SEED about branding, digital payment, business pitching and group sales, in line with the main aim of providing the best product and service to the customers.”

He said, “We are very thankful to the minister for sharing his vision and allowing BIBD to collaborate.

“Vendors will be at the venue for three to six months and if they decide that they want to establish their own business place, BIBD will provide financial and advisory assistance.

“We will not abandon them – they will be assigned to a relationship manager to advise them.”

Noraini binti Muhammad Amlee from Muallafprenuers Consortium said, “Project Tunas marketplace provides an opportunity for small entrepreneurs like us to learn and train key skills in a professional business setting – how to govern efficiently, mastering cash flows and identifying market opportunities.”

Muallafprenuers Consortium’s products include sticky mango rice, salad roll, and cheese cakes.

Meanwhile Nurul Hanisah binti Brahim from BIBD SEED said, “We learnt important skills like marketing, branding and management.

“After graduating, we were given support to help grow our business, which has continued until now.

“This project is a good initiative as I can see my sales improving.”

The 36-year-old started her business in 2011 selling nasi katok and said that BIBD SEED changed her life and entrepreneurial journey.

Pengiran Sarayahati binti Pengiran Matusof of Abdul Qayyum Haikal Enterprise said, “I joined Usahawan Bakarih Yayasan in 2018. I followed my parents in running a home-based business. I wanted to improve my business so I participated in the Usahawan Bakarih Yayasan programme.

“It provided support like organising workshops and courses to improve our skills.”

On the Tunas Project marketplace, she said, “We have been here for four days and it has been very encouraging.”