First product '3 Rasa Cookies' sell like hot cakes
Bandar Seri Begawan - SMARTER Brunei is looking to evolve from being a charity-based organisation into a more self-reliant and self-sustaining one by allowing the autistic members to venture into Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
One of the business initiatives was the launch of the home-made treats called '3 Rasa Cookies', which took place yesterday in a 3-in-1 celebration held at the SMARTER's newly opened BACA Centre (Brunei Autism Centre for Adults) in Jangsak
"We very much appreciate the charity and donations given by many organisations. However, we require more commercial concessions and special service consideration as a gesture and a meaningful commitment of corporate social responsibility.
"We require the help of the ministry to change the mindset in supporting the development of Micro and SMEs especially by NGOs such as ourselves," said the President of SMARTER, Malai Haji Abdullah, in a speech.
Based on details provided by SMARTER Brunei, the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources has acknowledged a proposal and is now considering the SMARTER Food Processing project as "Incubator Status". This means the ministry is ready to support and assist SMARTER to have easier access to service and facilities together with the privileges offered by the schemes.
To date, six individual with autism under the food processing project have managed to sell 110 boxes of '3 Rasa Cookies'.
The SMARTER 3-in-1 celebration marked its 11th year anniversary, Hari Raya Aidilfitri with SMARTER members and the launch of their recent venture into 'Food Processing Project' and 'Metals Works Project'.
To show his support for SMARTER's anniversary was the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Utama Dato Seri Setia Awg Haji Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar.
Also in attendance were MIPR Permanent Secretary Hjh Normah Suria Hayati Pehin jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama (Dr) Hj Mohd Jamil AlSufri and Deputy Permanent Secretary Hjh Hasnah Hj Ibrahim and officials from the ministry as well as foreign dignitaries, guests, family members and staff of SMARTER.
The day also saw the cutting of the 11th year anniversary cake by the minister and Malai Haji Abdullah. Hari Raya musical and dance performances by individuals with autism enlivened the celebrations.
The minister as well as guests toured SMARTER's mini-exhibition that showcased their upcoming business ventures as well as the facilities offered at the newly opened BACA Centre.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin