Empowering women entrepreneurship through digital technology


Apr  26th

UBD (Universiti Brunei Darussalam collaborated with WBN (WIEF Businesswomen Network) in promoting women’s empowerment by enabling technologies


Brunei Darussalam, 26 April 2018 – UBD (Universiti Brunei Darussalam) and WBN (WIEF Businesswomen Network) brought together women entrepreneurs from Southeast Asia for a two-day workshop focusing on enhancing Social Media skills, in broadening their ability to do business within the global value chain.

The two-day Social Media Workshop for Women Entrepreneurs was organised collaboratively by Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) and UBD School of Business and Economics (UBDSBE), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation’s Businesswomen Network on 25 to 26 April 2018 at the university’s Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences (PAPRSBIHS). The workshop aimed to help businesswomen to establish their brands and their online presence by setting up and maintaining active websites and social media accounts.

Fifth from left, Associate Professor Dr Mohd Ayub Sadiq, the Acting Vice Chancellor of Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Dato’ Dr. Norraesah Mohamad, Chairman of WIEF Businesswomen Network at the closing ceremony with the women entrepreneurs who attended the Social Media Network Workshop.

At the workshop, 30 women entrepreneurs who own micro, small and medium-sized businesses learned to use social media applications as a viable platform to market their products and services globally. Participants were briefed about the potentials and gains of social media business market research, strategies and planning, and were given hands-on training in using various social media apps, such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook to promote and expand their businesses.

The Guest of Honour at the closing ceremony of the WIEF Social Media Workshop for Women Entrepreneurs workshop was Associate Professor Dr Mohd Ayub Sadiq, the Acting Vice Chancellor of Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

‘The recent International Women’s Day celebration held on March 8 underscores the importance and relevance of this workshop. The 2018 slogan is #PressforProgress, which encourages collective contribution from various organisations, groups and individuals to promote a “gender parity mind-set”,’ said Dr Siti Mazidah Haji Mohamad, Deputy Dean (Academics), Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UBD.

‘The workshop is one such effort because it equips women with skills and knowledge in social media, which they might not otherwise have access to. With more than 2.8 billion social media users in 2017, knowing how to leverage the various online platforms makes good business sense and it provides access to an incredibly huge consumer base, and knowing how to utilise social media for business can help enhance women entrepreneurs’ business acumen as well as operations. This allows them to promote their products and services to a wider audience’. added Dr Siti Mazidah.

According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor which analyses 40 global economies, global entrepreneurship rates among women have increased by 13 per cent, compared to 5 per cent for men.

Moreover, it has been estimated that if more gender parity existed in entrepreneurship, and women started businesses at the same rate as men, global GDP might increase by USD28 trillion by 2025.

Dato’ Dr. Norraesah Mohamad, Chairman of WIEF Businesswomen Network speaking at the closing ceremony

‘WBN believes that empowering women is a smart investment. Our mission is to empower women through digital technology, where the revolution in digital technology gives women more tools and power to run their business. This is also timely with the Empowerment of Women Year 2018 agenda that the Prime Minister of Malaysia launched early this year,’ said WBN’s Chairman, Dato’ Dr. Norraesah Mohamad.

‘The collaboration is in line with the eUsahawan programme promoted by the Malaysian Government with the purpose of training entrepreneurs to use social media and digital platforms to generate income,’ Dato’ Norraesah said.

‘From January 2016 until September 2017, there was an increase in sales totalling RM 112 million, where 95 per cent were from women entrepreneurs,’ Dato’ Norraesah added.

According to We Are Social’s Digital in South East Asia 2017 report, the number of active social media users in Southeast Asia grew by 31 per cent in just a year. That is equivalent to 72 million new users of social media in 12 months in 2016.

Brunei has the highest rate of internet penetration at 86 per cent of the total population, followed by Singapore at 82 per cent. Social media penetration is also the highest in the two countries.



About Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD)  

Universiti Brunei Darusalam (UBD) is Brunei Darussalam’s premier university established in 1985. UBD is guided by its four core values; people, expertise, relevance and leadership. Today, there are eight academic faculties, nine research institutes and six academic service centres ranging from Islamic Studies, Business, Arts, Science, Health Sciences, Asian Studies, Policy Studies, Education, Biodiversity and Integrated Technologies. In a relatively short period of time, UBD has advanced and expanded both in academics and infrastructure, producing influential leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals. The university is always aligned to its mission of developing the individual and society as a whole through the cultivation and enrichment of the intellect, faith and culture, accomplished through the creation of an environment conducive to achieving excellence in teaching, learning, research, scholarship, public service and professional practice. One of UBD’s initiatives to achieve its mission is by establishing its very own Entrepreneurship Village (EV).

Entrepreneurship Village or better known as EV, is the university’s platform for promoting entrepreneurship curriculum and activities for the university as well as the core platform that champions and spearheads the Ministry of Education’s National Entrepreneurship Agenda. EV serves three tiers of its market that includes core education, higher education and the community (entrepreneurs) with its three-pillar approach; Mindset, Community and Mechanics; developed since 2014. EV promotes multi-disciplinary learning and pragmatic process based on its resource-based approach named Smart Experiment which is co-developed with former Babson College Professor, Steven K Gold. Under the Office of Innovation and Enterprise, EV’s main role is to bring the university towards Innovation and Enterprise through multi-disciplinary collaborations with objectives to increase the student’s entrepreneurial mindset, skills and sustainability.

About the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation

The WIEF Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation based in Kuala Lumpur, organises the annual World Islamic Economic Forum, a world-class business platform showcasing business opportunities in the Muslim world, and runs programmes of the various initiatives of the Foundation that strengthen people partnership and knowledge exchange between Muslim and non-Muslim communities across the globe. The WIEF has previously held forums in Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Kuwait, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates and aims to bring together Muslim and non-Muslim communities through the common language of business.

The 14th World Islamic Economic Forum will be held at the EXPO Congress Center, Astana, Kazakhstan on 4 July, 2018. For more information on the WIEF Foundation, please visit www.wief.org.

About the WIEF Businesswomen Network (WBN)

The idea of the WIEF Businesswomen Network (WBN) was mooted at the inaugural World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) in 2005 which stems from the premise that women constitute a very important segment of the society and thus must be given due recognition for their economic contribution to the Muslim world.  A year later, WBN was established with a mission to empower women, optimising their potential through economic and business activities and programmes. The WBN also provides a networking berth for women entrepreneurs across the world, especially in Muslim countries and societies, thus creating valuable international linkages between businesswomen in both the Muslim and non-Muslim world, as well as widening their market reach.

For more information on the workshop, please visit https://wbn.wief.org/


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