ILO and UNESCO to empower entrepreneurs in Fiji and Samoa

ILO and UNESCO collaborate for Training of Trainers on Start and Improve Your Business Tools.

News | Suva, Fiji | 20 September 2023
During the Training of Trainers on Start and Improve Your Business Tools, Suva, Fiji. © ILO
SUVA, Fiji (ILO News) – Efforts to empower entrepreneurs and strengthen entrepreneurship training in Fiji and Samoa received a significant boost from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), who jointly organized a Training of the Trainers on the ILO’s Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) tools.

The training, held in Tanoa Plaza Hotel, Suva, Fiji between 28 August and 7 September, saw 28 participants from a diverse range of institutions, including employers’ organizations, commercial banks, ministries of departments of trade, labour, and youth from the two countries, acquire the knowledge to become certified SIYB trainers, equipping them with effective tools and methodologies to support and guide early-stage entrepreneurs and accelerating businesses in their journey.

“In Samoa, our action plan is already under development, we are excited to provide SYB training to returning seasonal workers, who aspire to start their own businesses. We will benefit massively from the contacts to like-minded Fijian institutions and existing accelerator programmes that we have made during this training”, said Lisi Faletutulu-Asuao, a participating trainer from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Samoa.

The programme, which aimed to enhance the capabilities of business development support providers, financial service providers, and relevant government departments engaging in entrepreneurship training for SMEs across various sectors, covered a range of topics, including effective entrepreneurship training techniques, business ideation and planning, financial management skills, marketing and sales strategies and supportive coaching and mentorship.

Embracing sustainability and technology

The training programme also prioritized modules on greening and digitalization, as an avenue to promote businesses resilience considering the region’s extreme vulnerability to climate change and exposure to frequent natural disasters.

“The modules equipped entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills needed to adapt to environmental challenges and leverage emerging digital technologies,” said Epeli Asaro, ILO. “By adopting a holistic approach to entrepreneurship training, the programme encouraged entrepreneurs to embrace environmentally friendly practices and utilize technology to strengthen their competitiveness.”

“The games and activities on greening and digitalization were truly remarkable! It served as a highly effective tool for both teaching and learning, allowing participants to experience the subject matter in a tangible and impactful way," said Maryangela Berwick, a participating trainer from Westpac Banking Corporation.

Spotlight on the creative economy

A dedicated day was allocated during the training programme to address the specific needs of entrepreneurs in the creative economy, with a focus on the music industry. Specific issues under discussion included the protection of intellectual property, the enhancement of business skills, and the role of associations and cooperatives.

This session, which aimed to harness the potential of the music industry and foster collaboration among stakeholders in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, invited business development support providers and musicians to share their experiences, challenges and successes.

"Through the training, we will aim to address and bridge the gaps that artists and organizations often face when it comes to promoting and marketing their products to foster growth and success in the creative industry," said Venasio Komai, a participant trainer from Fiji Arts Council.

Promoting collaboration and networking

The training programme facilitated networking opportunities for participants from diverse backgrounds. These interactions allowed for the exchange of insights, ideas, and best practices.

“The collaboration between the ILO, UNESCO, and not only provided a platform for knowledge sharing but also paved the way for future collaborations, fostering synergies among stakeholders in Fiji's and Samoa’s entrepreneurship ecosystem,” added Lisi Faletutulu-Asuao, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Samoa. The success of the SIYB Training of Trainers Workshop is a testament to the strong partnership between the ILO, UNESCO, and tripartite stakeholders in Fiji and Samoa. The ILO remains committed to supporting Fiji’s and Samoa’s efforts in fostering a conducive environment for entrepreneurship and facilitating inclusive economic growth.

Participants of the Training of Trainers, Suva, Fiji. © ILO
Participants group photo, Suva, Fiji. © ILO