Young Entrepreneurs Council Vanuatu supported by Pacific Youth Council

ILO supports young entrepreneurs to be part of national private sector organizations in Vanuatu

News | 06 September 2016
(L-R) Edward Bernard - ILO Programme Officer , Vira Taivakalo - President, Vanuatu National Youth Council and Tarusila Bradburgh - Programme coordinator - Pacific Youth Council
The hosting of the Youth Economic Empowerment Forum in Port Vila last week and subsequent setting up of the Young Entrepreneurs Council Vanuatu received huge support from the Pacific Youth Council and the International Labour Organization, local partners and civil society organizations.

Tarusila Bradburgh, the Programme Coordinator of the Pacific Youth Council explained that the idea for last week’s forum came out of a Regional Young Entrepreneurs Forum held in Suva from June 29 – July 2, 2016 organized by the PYC. The theme of the forum was “Working Collectively to advance Youth Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment in the Pacific”.

“It stemmed out of what’s in the Pacific Youth Development Framework, which is a coordinated approach to youth-centered development in the Pacific. And it has four priority outcome areas, one of which is youth employment, which looks at economic empowerment for young people, job seeking and job creation,” Ms. Bradburgh continued.

At this forum, the five countries involved were Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji. At this forum they had the newly-set up Young Entrepreneurs Council Fiji and they modeled to the Pacific that there was a need for young entrepreneurs to come together to network, to share ideas and practices and also to collectively try and influence policy spaces around youth entrepreneurship.

“This was because we all know that it is not easy for young people to set up businesses, the environment is not as friendly. You know, you have to have some savings, a healthy bank account, some collateral whenever you want to access loans to start a business.

“We have found that there are a lot of young entrepreneurs, both formal – those that registered as a business and informal – really small micro-enterprise.

“The Fiji model was shared at this forum. So it was a partnership between ILO and the Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Employers Federation which is local national private sector organization for Fiji. They worked together to set up the Young Entrepreneurs Council Fiji, becoming the eighth arm of the Federation.”

In the outcome statement from the forum, each country outlined their activities — what they were going to do when they went back. For Vanuatu, they specifically had two activities – one was to have this Youth Economic Empowerment Forum and opportunity support from development partners and secondly was to set up a Young Entrepreneurs Council Vanuatu following the model of Fiji and adapted to suit the Vanuatu context.

“We are able at the regional level with the Regional Youth Council to have discussions with our regional partners and in this case ILO and it is very much in line with their work in supporting young entrepreneurs find employment and we were able to find some funding to support having this forum and secondly setting up a young entrepreneurs council for Vanuatu launched last week,” Ms. Bradburgh added.

“Young entrepreneurs have special challenges, such as access to finance and business development service. To overcome this the ILO is supporting the younger entrepreneurs to be part of the national private sector organization, so they have more chances to influence policies affecting them,” Mr. Satoshi Sasaki, Officer-in-charge, ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries.

Source: Vanuatu Daily Post