Informal Economy

19 local business trainers in Fiji introduced to ILO’s Community Based Enterprise Development (C-BED) tools

In an effort to strengthen Business Development Services (BDS) in Fiji, the ILO organised and delivered a Training of Facilitators (ToF) on 1st June 2021.

News | 22 July 2021
Online training session 
In an effort to strengthen Business Development Services (BDS) in Fiji, the ILO organised and delivered a Training of Facilitators (ToF) on 1st June 2021.

19 local business trainers, of whom 50% were women and 30% young people, gained access to ILO’s learning hub to enhance their business training skills using Activity Based Learning (ABL). It is expected that the trainers will be using ABL techniques to deliver training using the C-BED tools, targeting the beneficiaries of the UN Joint Informal Economies Recovery Project and their existing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) clients.

“The C-BED tools are not only very light to deliver on-line, the content and structure can be understood with ease where the person delivering takes on a more facilitation role”, said Mr Edward Bernard, the Project Coordinator for the ILO.

He further added that the trainers are now able to use the on-line capable tools to continue to deliver their services, despite the current COVID emergency situation in Fiji.

The C-BED tools cover a range of business topics such as marketing, finance, improving quality and productivity etc. C-BED has also been introduced in the outer islands of Kiribati through the national Climate Adaptation Programme and in the Solomon Islands through the Correctional Services targeting former combatants and young inmates.

Sachiko Soro owns and operates Vou Fiji, a dance hub in Nadi. “I found the tools to be very simple and relevant and I am looking forward to use them with the dance companies I am working with”, said Ms Soro.

Ms Ronna Sekiguchi owner for Suva based Green House Studio, also took part in the training. She will soon be launching Fiji’s first private-sector-owned full-service virtual and in-person co-working and business facilitation facility for Suva MSME’s. Ms Sekiguchi highlighted that the tools introduced as part of the training will add value to her plans she has for her co-working space.

While there were other private business trainers and association members, the training also included government business trainers from the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, responsible for supporting indigenous resource owners and village base micro enterprises. With informal sector micro enterprises, particularly rural MSME’s linked to the Tourism industry has been severely impacted by COVID-19. The second wave of COVID-19 in Fiji is further disrupting the value chain many of the village based MSME’s are linked to.

The ILO, through the UN Joint Informal Economies Recovery Project has planned more activities in Fiji and other pacific project countries to support institutional and capacity building of BDS providers. This also includes developing business advisor materials and mentoring programs. Through this, the ILO envisages that more MSME’s, particularly those in the informal sector, will be able to access services.