The Youth Development Centre (YDC) has provided training, grants and space for five businesses to start up under its entrepreneurship incubation programme which launched last year.
The founders of hydroponics based Kemari Farm Enterprise, men’s barbershop Barberku, men’s bespoke tailor Gentleman Stitch Enterprise and tailor Perusahaan Mazroni BKP dan Rakan-Rakan are graduates of YDC programmes, while garment producer Cerita Fabrikku has set up at YDC and has taken on the centres’ graduates as employees.
YDC is an initiative of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) that provides trade skills courses to local youth to be able to gain employment or start their own businesses.
Their incubation programme has awarded $46,739 in grants to 17 businesses made up of 29 Bruneian youth, as well as offer sites for several of these businesses to operate, mostly through MCYS assets which include the Hassanal Bolkiah (HB) National Stadium.
YDC Assistant Director Fauziah Hj Md Salleh said their entrepreneurship incubation programme aims to help reduce the barriers for YDC graduates to start their own businesses, ultimately reducing unemployment amongst youth and vulnerable groups.
A signing ceremony was held earlier today for the five businesses under the incubation programme as well as to mark the official opening of Gentleman Stitch, Mazroni and the YDC Cooperative (KOPPB) Minimart which are located along the same row next to Barberku in renovated office rooms under the HB National Stadium steps.
Gentleman Stitch will be offering made to measure suits, while Mazroni will be taking on general tailoring orders including uniforms, corporate dress and baju melayu. KOPPB will be selling daily necessities as well as local products made by its members or graduates of YDC.
Founder of Gentleman Stitch Hazwan Suhaini, who completed the Fashion Design Technology course in 2018, has received $4,000 in grants from YDC. The Universiti of Brunei Darussalam (UBD) graduate has received orders of up to $1,000 in value and has plans to hire vulnerable groups who he has been teaching tailoring.
Mazroni is made up of seven women who completed YDC’s tailoring course for vulnerable groups and began producing out of YDC last December. Fauziah said their success in fulfilling garment orders for large corporations and schools has earned them the opportunity to open their own storefront.
Cerita Fabrikku also continues to operating a sewing workshop out of YDC, producing 4,000 garments a month for export through a contract with Famous Textiles (FT), who its five founders used to work for under the i-Ready apprenticeship. The startup, who have also received $2,000 in grants, is now looking to take on local orders.
Meanwhile YDC’s first incubatee Kemari Farm has managed to produce 258kg of vegetables – mainly lettuce and mint – since March this year, earning a profit of $5,000.
The farm, located within YDC’s compound, has received $12,000 in grants, $10,000 from Standard Chartered Brunei for winning the Society for Community Outreach and Training’s (SCOT) Youth Against Poverty (YAP) programme.