DARe LINKS to enable MSMEs to secure businesses with large companies

DARe to provide training and connect MSMEs to business opportunities through online portal

DARe's Market Access team explaining DARe LINKS to the business community during a socialisation session held at the Design and Technology building last week.

Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) will be collaborating to upskill local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to secure business opportunities with large companies in Brunei through a new initiative called DARe LINKS.

DARe LINKs will operate an online portal which will consolidate business opportunities including supply contracts offered by large Brunei-based companies and profile the portfolio and competencies of MSMEs to facilitate matching and linkages.

The 10 large companies that have signed on for the programme are Telekom Brunei Berhad, DST Communications Sdn Bhd, Royal Brunei Airlines Sdn Bhd, Royal Brunei Catering Sdn Bhd, Western Foods & Packaging Sdn Bhd, Armada Properties Sdn Bhd, CIC Environmental Services Sdn Bhd, Archipelago Development Corporation Sdn Bhd, Dowell Schlumberger (E) Inc and NS Bluescope Lysaght (B) Sdn Bhd.

DARe is inviting more large companies to participate and has opened registration for MSMEs to participate in the initiative by signing onto the DARe LINKS portal or by emailing their interest to market.access@dare.gov.bn.

DARe’s Executive Officer for Market Access Nurkhairunnisa Afiqah Haji Mursidi explained in a briefing last week at the Design and Technology building that the programme was set up to address the market access gap facing MSMEs in securing business opportunities with larger companies.

“Through DARe LINKs, MSMEs will go through structured a Vendor Development Training (VDT) through DARe’s Industry Business Academy (IBA) to equip them with the fundamentals in financial management and business planning along with specialised modules to be able to successfully secure and deliver projects for large companies,” said Afiqah.

“Ultimately this will help maximise local purchasing and grow the capabilities of MSMEs and their workforce to meet higher standards through skill and technology transfer from larger corporations.”

Manager of DARe’s Market Access Diana Hj Ramli added that large companies based in Brunei have previously shared their difficulties in finding local companies to meet their needs.

“Through DARe LINKS we will also be in a better position to identify what the gaps are – whether its promoting these opportunities better, or equipping MSMEs with the right capabilities to meet the needs or established companies,” she said.

VDT and the registration and use of the DARe LINKS portal for MSMEs and large corporations is fully sponsored by DARe. Registered businesses who have been operating for 12 months with less than 100 employees are eligible to participate in the programme as MSMEs.

Meanwhile the large businesses being targeted include foreign direct investment (FDI) companies, government-linked companies (GLC), multinational companies (MNC) and other established corporations based in Brunei from any industry.

Afiqah added that DARe is looking to gamify the portal by awarding points to MSMEs who successfully complete VDT modules and receive positive customer feedback from large companies.

DARe will also be continuously monitoring the portal and linkages to identify effectiveness of VDT and any challenges faced by MSMEs in securing and delivering projects.

The CEO of government-owned Armada Properties said that they were keen to work with more local businesses beginning with housekeeping services and car cleaning for their portfolio of more than 700 residences.

“We are happy to participate in this pilot programme as this aligns with Armada’s interest of providing contributions to local businesses and job creation, as well as improving customers’ experience in Armada,” said Desmond Lim.