KL’s Borneo Native Festival, a venue to expose Sabah entrepreneurs to bigger markets

KOTA KINABALU, 13 MAY 2022: Social entrepreneurs in Sabah should get exposure beyond the state, said Sabah Creative Economy and Innovation Centre (SCENIC) general manager Viviantie Sarjuni. 

She added that SCENIC is honoured to collaborate with Sukaseni to bring talents from Sabah to the inaugural Borneo Native Festival at the Central Market in Kuala Lumpur next week.  

“Our objective is for our social entrepreneurs to get exposure and networking, as well as having collaboration with other entrepreneurs in peninsular Malaysia. 

“We want them to learn about the ecosystem in peninsular Malaysia. Entrepreneurs should understand the demand here in Sabah might be different from Kuala Lumpur and other regions,” she said, adding that SCENIC would likely send more than five entrepreneurs for the festival. 

Yesterday, SCENIC and Sukaseni signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the festival collaboration at the Sabah International Convention Centre here. 

SCENIC and Sukaseni signing MoU for Borneo Native Festival collaboration
Exchanging documents during the SCENIC-Sukaseni Memorandum of Understanding signing

At press time, among chosen entrepreneurs are Jess Boubie who will promote the brass jewellery; Kelarai Craft who makes traditional bags and crafts; MJ by Mus that sells community’s products; Emoms’s ready-to-eat traditional food as well as  Moyog Innovation house provides basic e-commerce and marketing infrastructure and training workshops to help beneficiaries generate revenue by selling their products online.

Viviantie also said that SCENIC, which is under the purview of Sabah Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, would also provide financial support to Sukaseni in organising the festival between May 20 and 22. 

Sukaseni founder Rafie Syazwan Arpandi echoed SCENIC that the festival could promote Sabah economy apart from showcasing the culture and lifestyle of the Borneo people.

“We are hoping entrepreneurs to not just sell their products but engage with potential collaborators in peninsular Malaysia as we know Kuala Lumpur is the economic centre of Malaysia.

“Maybe someone would want to be dropship agents or sell those products at their stores as the Borneo products will have more demand as they are rare items in Kuala Lumpur,Singapore, Sarawak or Brunei,”he said, adding there will be 70 vendors taking part for the handicrafts, food and beverage, and others.  

Rafie, who is from Sandakan, Sabah, added that for the first edition of the festival, Sukaseni has included both government agencies, associations and universities from Sabah and Sarawak to be part of the bazaar, cultural shows and food demonstration, dance competition, talks, workshops, educational sessions among others.

The festival will have former Miss Universe Malaysia Francisca Luhong Jame from Sarawak and Malaysian American singer Nikki Pallikat from Sarawak on the second day, and Sabah’s Velvet Aduk and Marsha Milan on the last day. 

“We also encourage people to wear traditional attires on Saturday (May 21). This is our time!

“Probably next year, the festival will also invite delegates from Indonesia and Brunei to be with us.”


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