Showcasing small islands enterprise

FILE PHOTO: Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama

Traditional artisans to display products

Several local, regional and global agencies are coming together to showcase a wide range of small islands enterprises – not just from Samoa but also from the Pacific Islands region and other SIDS locations – during the conference. Sustainable business and enterprise is recognised as one of the main drivers of economic development in climate challenged states.

But a lack of economies of scale and long distances from their markets coupled with high costs, pose unique challenges to small island enterprises. Twenty businesses from Samoa and ten each from the Pacific, the Caribbean and the AINS regions’ small islands states will display their wares and have representatives to answer queries.

The show is being held at a purpose built ‘Pacific Village’ venue near one of the main conference precincts. Its location is hard to miss, say the organisers, as attendees to the conference sessions will have to pass through the village. Besides the business booths, there will also be food stalls and entertainment around the village. “We were inundated with inquiries from small businesses as soon as the show was announced,” says Peseta Margaret Malua, Chief Executive of Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC). The Samoan pavilion has been designed in such a way, that every applicant has been accommodated.

“The Pacific is all about inclusiveness,” says Malua, “no enterprise that applied to be included has been left out.” Some 21 small businesses have been packed into six of Samoa’s share of 20 booths. The Samoa Chamber of Commerce (SCC) and the SBEC are fronting Samoa’s private sector representation and coordinating the effort. The New Zealand Government funded Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) has designed the village and provided materials and infrastructure for the booths as well as pop up tents, banners and buntings to bring in a festive atmosphere.

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