Our first Speaker meeting of 2019 saw Udo Schedel, CEO of Bank Usahawan, introduce the bank to BBBF’s members. 

Established in 2017 to cater for (in Udo’s words) “All sorts of SME business”, the bank made its first loan in April 2018. Udo stressed that their mission is access to finance for and advice to SMEs whilst supporting the government’s efforts to diversify Brunei’s economy away from oil and gas and into production and services. 

With a core product of cashflow-based lending, Bank Usahawan currently provides two Syariah-compliant products focussing on Asset Finance and Working Capital Finance. Their current portfolio will grow to cover approximately 200 clients. 

Bank Usahawan sees its USPs as: fast processing of small loan applications (maximum 10 days), a close relationship with clients and a flat organisation structure that promotes fast decision-making. They now have an office at DARe and visit Kuala Belait every week, meaning that aspiring entrepreneurs don’t have to come to the capital to see them. 

From the number and variety of questions after, it was clear that what Udo had to say resonated with a number of members and discussions carried on into the “networking session”. In short, a great start to 2019.