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26th March 2014

Bandar Seri Begawan, 26th March 2014 – The Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) in collaboration with HSBC Brunei and Baiduri Bank organized a media briefing for JA Brunei on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 at the BEDB premises. The objective of this briefing is to highlight the set-up of JA Brunei following the successful completion of the JA Pilot Entrepreneurship Project.

JA Brunei will be an international member to Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide, a non-profit organization that was founded in 1919 in USA. JA is a partnership between the business community, educators and volunteers to deliver experiential programs to students in kindergarten through high school. In 2010 to 2011, JA Worldwide has reached over 10 million students globally with the support of nearly 400,000 volunteers. The core purpose of JA Worldwide is to inspire young people to succeed in a global economy by providing a platform for professionals to volunteer, share their real-life experiences and become role models to students. JA programs focus on areas of financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.

The JA Pilot Entrepreneurship Project was first introduced by the BEDB in 2012 involving 12 schools, 250 students and 6 volunteer organizations venturing into classes teaching students to be more financial literate, business-savvy and entrepreneurial. Following the successful completion of the JA Pilot Project in June 2013, JA Worldwide has supported for JA Brunei to be an international member to their community of over 120 countries globally. "JA Worldwide is proud to welcome JA Brunei as a new member of the global network," said Sean C. Rush, President and CEO of JA Worldwide. He continued, "We are delighted by the success of the pilot program and the prospects that JA Brunei will both enhance our ability to drive youth economic development in the Asia Pacific region as well as grow our global capacity to transform the lives, livelihoods and futures of the more than 10 million youth we reach every year."

JA Brunei is currently in the process of registering as a Society, which will be fully-funded by sponsorships and operationally supported by volunteers from the business community. BEDB, together with HSBC and Baiduri Bank, are sponsoring and collectively involved in the set-up and next steps for JA Brunei.

"Through JA Brunei, we are investing in the success of our future generations by equipping them with real-life skills of financial literacy and entrepreneurship. We hope the JA programs will increase the likelihood of them starting up businesses in the future and contributing back to the economy," stated YM Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin, Chief Executive Officer of the BEDB.

Todd Wilcox, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Brunei indicated, "HSBC is extremely delighted to be working with BEDB again on the development of the Junior Achievement Programme. Since its first successful pilot launch back in 2012, HSBC has been a keen supporter towards BEDB in promoting this JA Programme, which is rooted in HSBC's long standing commitment towards education. HSBC is committed to empowering the Bruneian youth in developing their financial literacy. Through the JA More than Money Programme, students will learn about the value of money and be better equipped to make informed decisions on how to save and spend their money. Students will also learn about money management, economics, and business through games that trigger their innovative thinking and will provide them with a positive impact on their behaviour as future professionals and consumers."

Pierre Imhof, Chief Executive Officer of Baiduri Bank mentioned, "As a Brunei bank, Baiduri is always very keen to support programmes that aim to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship and to develop business acumen and financial education among the youth, especially students, such as the JA Company Programme. It is in line with Baiduri Bank’s vision to strengthen its relations with the young generation as they are the future of the country."

Through continuous support from Department of Schools and Ministry of Education, 7 schools and 275 students will be participating in the first batch implementation of JA programs this April. The schools involved include Sekolah Rendah Anggerek Desa, Sekolah Rendah Pulaie, Sekolah Rendah Mabohai, Maktab Sains, Maktab SOAS, STPRI and Sekolah Menengah Menglait. The volunteers participating will be from HSBC, Baiduri Bank, BEDB and Maybank. With the set-up of JA Brunei, the aim is to continuously introduce more JA programs and reach more schools and students within the Sultanate.

For more information on JA Brunei, kindly contact Izzah Jomari, Assistant Manager of Innovation and New Initiatives of the BEDB at [email protected] or call 2230111 extension 141.

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