ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
DARE launches microcredit financing scheme for SMEs
DARUSSALAM Enterprise (DARE) the day before yesterday launched a financing scheme to aid local businesses in need of funds for their operations.
The Microcredit Financing Scheme offers a microcredit facility of up to $15,000 with a repayment period of up to 36 months for at least 100 startups in Brunei.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar, the chairman of DARE and the Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office, said that the new scheme is hoped to create a more conducive environment for local businesses to start and operate.
“The scheme is targeted towards local businesses that have a viable business plan where the facility can inject capital for the business to run,” said YB Pehin Dato Hj Md Yasmin in his speech during the launch of DARE’s new initiative last night.
In an interview with the media, the minister said that the scheme is significant for micro, small and medium sized businesses (MSMEs) as this is the first time that local businesses can apply for financing without collateral.
“We are giving places for 100 new startups in this microcredit facility scheme without collateral but they must have a viable business plan and the 100 days startup bootcamp will make sure that they work hard in ensuring that the business plan is viable,” he said.
YB Pehin Dato Hj Md Yasmin said that Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) is only the first of a number of banks that will also partner with DARE for the Microcredit Financing Scheme.
“The first bank is BIBD and of course there will be a scheme by Baiduri Bank as well and some other banks in Brunei,” he said.
The minister also said the government is also working towards establishing a financial institution specifically for MSMEs which can help give them even more access to financing.
“The Ministry of Finance is working very hard on a financial institution for MSMEs and as I said we will have something very clear and positive by the beginning of next year,” he added.
In his speech, the minister said that MSMEs are key in economic diversification and play a major role in employment creation not only in the ASEAN region but also on a global level.
He said it is important to note MSMEs’ contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
He added that in the ASEAN region, their contribution to GDP vary from 23 per cent to 58 per cent and figures for contribution to employment creation are between 43 per cent to 97 per cent.
“These figures are increasing over time which means that their socio-economic impact to the country is significant and thus, DARE was established to stimulate and assist MSMEs, be it ‘technopreneurs’, those in the manufacturing sector and etc.”
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