Standard Chartered Brunei (SCB) will be awarding $15,000 in grants to the best business proposals and social enterprises tackling poverty in Brunei through the Society for Community Outreach and Training’s (SCOT) Youth Against Poverty Workshop (YAP) which kicked off last weekend at Yayasan Shopping Complex’s Ruang Bn.
SCB’s grant is part of Standard Chartered global’s new flagship corporate social responsibility initiative called Futuremakers which aims to empower youth with education, employability and entrepreneurship opportunities.
YAP, which is now in its fourth annual edition, brings together Bruneians looking to initiate or improve poverty alleviation projects in the Sultanate for a three-day workshop. Participants will pitch their ideas on November 12 with the winning project awarded a $10,000 grant and the runner-up a $5,000 grant.
SCOT’s President Pg Salimatul Sa’ada said that the programme has become more targeted over the years in helping self-sustaining projects which can have a long-term impact.
“This year participation for YAP is open to businesses registered under the Registry of Companies and Business Names (ROCBN) and organisations under the Registry of Societies (ROS),” said Pg Salimatul. “We have 10 teams and over 30 participants. Just like we are doing within SCOT, we want participants to be able to develop social enterprise models; business ideas that can address social issues.”
During YAP presentations, social enterprises were defined as organizations that engage in commercial activities to maximize improvements in the social, environmental and financial well-being of the population.
Social enterprises’ self-sustaining capability contrasts against more traditional non-governmental organizations that rely on continuous donations to tackle societal issues.
Notable projects to emerge from YAP include Women in Power – which uses the funds from the sale of recyclable items to provide single mothers with resources to be self-employed – and Project Bina Ukwah.
SCOT’s president added that although there is still no nationally defined poverty line, relative poverty remains a concern in Brunei, with an estimated 13,000 Bruneians receiving welfare in the past two years.
“In Brunei, we are fortunate to not have absolute poverty (prolonged homelessness, no access to water, electricity and healthcare) but we do face relative poverty where family income is not sufficient to meet basic needs (including liabilities and debts),” said Pg Salimatul.