The Shell LiveWIRE Brunei Business Awards are designed to reward and recognise outstanding young entrepreneurs in Brunei Darussalam who produce high-quality business planning and conduct impressive business operations.
The awards given are an integral part of the Shell LiveWIRE International Programmes organised worldwide.
This year’s LiveWIRE Brunei Business Awards saw Crop Culture win first place in the Higher Institution category and Kaimana Living top the Open category.
The two winners spoke with the Bulletin about their victories, beginning with Co-Founder of Kaimana Living Trish Lai who was accompanied by the company’s Senior Store Supervisor Munirah Redzuan during the awards ceremony.
Trish explained that their company is the first dedicated low waste store in Brunei which stocks high quality refillable products so customers are able to bring in their containers to refill, and by doing so, it gives the ability to avoid all the single use plastic packaging that would otherwise go to landfills.
They have continued to grow with a 100-per-cent local team that provides employment and leadership within retail that focusses on sustainability initiatives.
The co-founder also shared that they started operating two years ago and have since been actively participating in business competitions. She admitted finally winning feels great to them.
Previously, they had participated in a competition organised by Brunei Shell Marketing Company Sdn Bhd (BSM) where they were placed third; and another one organised by Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) where they come in second.
“I think we’re good now, and I think we can just continue to run our business and continue to grow,” said Trish, sharing excitedly that they opened their second store in Kuala Belait last month.
“For this coming year, we hope we can continue to grow the business and get more people to be aware of us, and about low waste living and sustainability,” she added.
As to how the company spend the prize money, Trish said they had initially planned on purchasing equipment, but sales having been impacted by the recent re-opening of borders, thus it will take time to restrategise.
They will, however, continue to give back to the community by hosting workshops on sustainability, she added.
The Bulletin also had the opportunity to interview three members of Crop Culture – chief financial officer Siti Wardah, chief marketing officer Nur Liyana, and research and development Siti Nur Hazimah. The company’s chief executive officer is Muhammad Bukhari.
The group, who are third-year students at Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA), shared that their company sells organic grow kits that come equipped with an app.
According to Siti Wardah, there is also an educational aspect to their product as it teaches people – beginners – how to grow plants.
The product is eco-friendly and made from upcycled shipping containers that are redesigned with materials suitable for indoor farming, while inside, a complete vertical farming system to maximise yield production.
This includes machine learning, so that it can automate the production process, while the outside will also be equipped with a built-in vending machine where customers can purchase the freshest agricultural products from.
Winning the award was unexpected for the group, and with their entrepreneurship project scheduled for next year, they plan on building on the idea for their final year project.
This year’s LiveWIRE Brunei Business Awards was fully funded by Brunei Shell Petroleum Sdn Bhd (BSP).