The Sustainable Alternative Livelihoods for Youth in Borneo (SALY-B) programme aims to foster an increased awareness of natural resource management and sustainable green business management for young people from the Telupid region in the Heart of Borneo. The core aim of the programme is to facilitate the participants in developing green business ideas that will help conserve forest biodiversity and alleviate the many pressures exerted on wildlife populations.
Many of the participants have attended a fortnight training course on natural resource management, including sessions from leading experts on biodiversity monitoring, wildlife crime prevention, awareness raising and ecotourism. Following that, across the course of 9 weeks, participants nurtured their green business ideas into fully fledged business plans, complete with market research, competitive analyses, financial plans and marketing strategies.
The final part of the process took place last week and saw the participants pitch their business plans to a panel of judges. They had just 10 minutes to wow the panel and sell their vision, then navigate a round of questioning. Every single pitch was a well-rehearsed and confident performance, demonstrating the hard work each of them has put into their plans.
Budding entrepreneur Badrul explains his inspiration for joining the programme and what he wanted to get out of it: “I joined because I wanted to get more experience and knowledge about the environment and nature. I wanted to learn about sustainable agriculture because I only know about farming using chemicals. I wanted to show people how to organically farm so we can take care of our environment, nature and health. I’m learning about how to sustain a business and generate income.”
Raleigh Borneo SALY-B Volunteer Facilitator Lina explains, “All of the participants found the programme challenging at times but they are all so determined. They have all learnt so much and you can see their improvement. Not only have they learnt about business but they have learnt so much more.”
Volunteer Facilitator Duha states, “I am really proud of all of the participants. At the beginning of the programme they were very shy and now they are all so confident. The programme has also fostered many other positive traits such as being punctual and how to speak in public – they could be a politician!”
Lina continues by saying, “Most people on the programme are from rural communities. A lot of them did not have the opportunity to finish school, especially the aunties. This programme has given them an increased awareness in to the world of sustainable businesses.”
Information on all of the participants and their business ideas will be available to read on the Virtual Enterprise Fair page on the Raleigh Borneo website on Friday 23rd March (www.raleighborneo.org). The Virtual Enterprise Fair aims to showcase the success of the participants on the SALY-B programme, recognise the awarding of seed funding to successful participants as well as promoting the success of the entrepreneurs from the first cycle of the programme. Keep an eye on the Facebook for more updates.
The SALY-B programme is a joint initiative by Raleigh Borneo and Land, Empowerment, Animals, People (LEAP). It received funding from the United States’ Bureau of Oceans and International Environment and Scientific Affairs and from the Legacy of Sarah Young.
Words by Communications Officer Rebecca Raab.
Photography by Daniel Buttifant.