Championing ASEAN digital entrepreneurship » Borneo Bulletin On-line

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Danial Norjidi |

In connection with Brunei’s chairmanship of ASEAN this year, the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Brunei (YEAB) heads the ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs (AYE) Council.

The council, founded in 2016, encompasses young entrepreneurs’ associations across ASEAN and is intended to be a platform that promotes exchange and cooperation between young entrepreneurs and investors in the ASEAN member states and encourages members to contribute to the development of ASEAN and international economic cooperation.

The handover of the AYE Council Presidency took place on September 5thth AYE Carnival 2020 took place virtually in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam last November.

YEAB shared the theme for Brunei’s ASEAN Chairmanship for 2021 – “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”, reflecting three priority areas: caring for people and the well-being of others; Preparation for future opportunities and challenges; and thrive together as a unified region.

The President of the YEAB and the Chairman of the AYE Council 2021, Nurliyana Fatin binti Arifin, said: “Following 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 from Brunei Darussalam In view of the fact that ASEAN must further strengthen our solidarity and move forward together, YEAB should continue to aim during our presidency to promote the digitization of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and help develop a more conducive and vibrant ecosystem for digital entrepreneurship in ASEAN with our AYE Council colleagues.

A screenshot of YEAB President and 2021 AYE Council Chairman Fatin Arifin receives a flag denoting the 2021 AYE Council Chairmanship from Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs Association Chairman Dang Hong Anh. PHOTO: YES

“This is one of the toughest times to be a (global) entrepreneur simply because no one expected a pandemic of this magnitude to disrupt connectivity, affect businesses and economies, especially in the age of globalization. This pandemic also accelerated the shift to e-commerce not just in ASEAN but around the world. “

“The promotion of digitization among MSMEs is therefore timely and of the greatest importance. Support in dealing with the challenges of digitization will continue to be a priority, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic is the new paradigm. On the 5thth AYE Carnival, we heard that there is still so much work to be done for MSMEs to take advantage of opportunities. “

Nurliyana Fatin referred to YEAB as Chair of the AYE Council this year as “an opportunity we very much welcome” and said that they “hope to continue the legacy in further promoting entrepreneurship and guided by the principles of the AYE Council to leave to create more opportunities. ” each other”.

The Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs Association put the 5 togetherth AYE Carnival digital in the face of COVID-19 that virtually brings ASEAN entrepreneurs together. The AYE Council website, which YEAB will continue to build as a digital home for young entrepreneurs, was also unveiled at the carnival.

YEAB expects to host the 6th AYE Carnival digital this year and are hosting online engagements to connect ASEAN entrepreneurs.

“We are preparing and hope to host the AYE virtual carnival. We are also gradually discussing the Chairmanship with key stakeholders and exploring opportunities for collaboration and partnerships, ”said the YEAB President.

They also plan to host several online series in the form of forums and potential workshops for ASEAN MSMEs, drawing on the strong network and resources of the AYE Council.

Since 2020, YEAB has been organizing physical and virtual workshops in cooperation with EICA, the Google Developer’s Group (GDG) Brunei, Mavens Hive, LiveWIRE Brunei and Think Axis to support the digital introduction of MSMEs as part of the ASEAN MSMEs Go Digital initiative.

Since July, they have hosted over 25 series of workshops in various focus areas, including digital accounting, social media, marketing and digital collaboration, and have participated in over 500 MSMEs. They expect to continue this initiative through May and hope to reach 1,500 MSMEs.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need to be digitally ready and savvy. With these workshops we would like to provide companies with the tools and know-how to adapt to new digital technologies in order to cope with the challenges of the pandemic, especially as it is now essential for companies to be future-proof and crisis-proof, “said Nurliyana Fatin.

She reiterated that YEAB is committed to making its contribution to the development of entrepreneurs with global vision, mindset and ambition, adding that the association continues to encourage and challenge young entrepreneurs to go beyond their potential. When asked what she hopes from YEAB’s chairmanship of the AYE Council this year, Nurliyana Fatin said: “YEAB has actively campaigned for MSMEs and young entrepreneurs to enter the international market. With the strong network of young entrepreneurs within ASEAN via the AYE Council, we hope to offer young entrepreneurs opportunities for networking and awareness.

“With the GO Digital ASEAN workshop series, we would like to continue to enable MSMEs to design their companies in such a way that they are sustainable and resilient.

“While 2021 will be a recovery year for some and companies around the world continue to adapt to the new paradigm, we believe this year is an auspicious year for our Brunei entrepreneurs to explore international partnerships and collaboration and the digital economy to use . ”