Up to $20,000 in co-matching grants for local businesses: DARe

Under co-matching system, MSMEs front 30% of project cost with DARe funding the remaining 70% for up to $20,000

Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) will be introducing co-matching grants of up to $20,000 in the third quarter of 2018 for local businesses as part of an expanding financing framework for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to grow.

The “co-matching” component of the grant requires MSMEs to put forward 30% of the total project cost, with DARe’s grant funding the other 70% for a maximum of $20,000.

Matching grants are a widely adopted approach to funding startups globally, with shared funding demonstrating the applicant’s commitment in delivering their target project or activity.

DARe’s co-matching grant is separated into two categories with separate requirements; up to $10,000 and up to $20,000. Both require businesses to be 100% locally owned by Brunei citizens or permanent residents and fall into the national definition of a micro enterprise – under four employees or a small enterprise – between five to 19 employees.

Those seeking up to $10,000 must be businesses registered under 12 months old who are looking to use the funds to obtain certification, equipment or market their business within a period of 12 months.

Those seeking up to $20,000 meanwhile should be able to provide financial records and implement the funding within 12 months for activities that can sustainably expand the company; including the adoption of technology and software, equipment, marketing and consultancy services for accredited certifications.

Before funds are disbursed, applicants must also submit quotations or invoices for the products and services they seek to procure. The grants cannot be used to pay salary, director fees, rental, office renovations or debts.

Each application must showcase a business plan demonstrating potential for further development and commercialisation, including specifics on target markets, potential competition, revenue streams, uniqueness of products and services, scalability as well as realistic projections and timelines.

The co-matching grant is part of a developing framework of financing MSMEs beyond corporate loans and financing offered by commercial banks. MSME financing is also part of a wider entrepreneurship ecosystem highlighted by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday at the 13th National Youth Day celebration at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.

Other financing options for MSMEs outside the co-matching grant include the DARe microbusiness grant of $5,000; the DARe microcredit financing scheme offering up to $15,000 with a profit rate of 4%; the LiveWIRE Business Awards Start-Up Funding Scheme offering a loan of $50,000 without interest and the recently established Bank Usahawan who are offering financing up to $750,000 with a variable profit rate dependent of the bank’s analysis.

We’ll continuously provide updates when matching grant officially launches in the third quarter of 2018. To express your interest, email [email protected]