2023 Kiribati Greenpreneurs Graduates awarded AUD $166,000 by GGGI

[Tarawa, Kiribati, 1st December 2023] – The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) hosted a graduation ceremony for i-Kiribati participants of the Pacific Greenpreneurs Incubator and Accelerator Programs today at its 2023 Graduation Ceremony held at Kaiga Maneaba. 

The Pacific Greenpreneurs Incubator and Accelerator Programs are initiatives of the Pacific Green Entrepreneurs Network (PGEN), a program implemented by GGGI since 2021 and funded by Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), which is dedicated to fostering green; sustainable, and innovative business solutions in the Pacific region.   

Representing GGGI’s partner, the Kiribati Institute of Technology, Director Mr. Jason Flello shared his reflections as chief guest at the event, “Today marks a momentous occasion as we gather to celebrate the achievements of those before us who have successfully completed this stage of their learning journey.” 

Mr. Flello also added, “As we stand here, we are witnessing the culmination of a shared vision for a world where innovation, entrepreneurship, and environmental consciousness converge. It is truly heartening to see so many bright minds committed to forging a path towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly future.”  

Ms. Ruth M. Cross, the country Program Coordinator and Board member of Kindling Kiribati delivered the opening remarks. She said, “This program is not just about acquiring skills and knowledge. It’s also about fostering a sense of community and collaboration among our entrepreneurs. We hope that the bonds forged here, and the connections will be catalysts for future partnerships and collaborations that will undoubtedly contribute to the growth of businesses in Kiribati.” 

Six incubator and three accelerator graduates for the 2023 cohort were commended for successfully completing their respective programs and received certificates in recognition of their diligent hard work. This diverse group of green enterprises focus on agriculture, aquaculture, transport, recycling & circular economy, and information technology.  

Ms. Roshika Gaunder, Associate for PGEN delivered remarks on behalf of GGGI’s Country Representative for Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga and Vanuatu, Mr. Daniel Muñoz-Smith. Ms. Gaunder stated, “It is truly an honor to stand before you today, celebrating the remarkable achievements of our graduates from the Pacific Greenpreneurs Incubator and Accelerator Programs. In the presence of our distinguished guests, we witness Kiribati’s commitment to a sustainable and green future, championing the cause of  9 outstanding green enterprises that we commend today.”   

Ms. Al-Jazi Al-Hanzab, International Organizations Head Section Representative, spoke on behalf of GGGI’s funding partner, QFFD. Ms. Al-Hanzab stated in her recorded remarks, “I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the participants who have shown dedication and innovation and commitment to sustainability throughout this journey. Your hard work and determination have brought you to this point, and I have no doubt that your ventures will make a lasting impact on our environment and communities.”   

The six incubator graduates took part in a Business Plan competition at the end of the program, with the two winning Greenpreneurs Kireua Bureimoa of KBM Solution and Peteru Mamoe of Neptune Enterprise being awarded USD $5,000 (approximately AUD $7,550) each in recognition of their innovative business models that align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This financial support offers the advantage of allowing entrepreneurs to kickstart or grow their eco-friendly ventures, fostering innovation and sustainability within Kiribati and the Pacific region. 

Ms. Taina Temakei, founder of NICEGreen spoke on behalf of the 2023 Pacific Greenpeneurs Incubator cohort. “I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the donor QFFD, the GGGI team, all the mentors and families for their support throughout the program.” Ms. Temakei further stated, “The skills and connections we gained throughout this course will contribute to our individual goals as green entrepreneurs, our Country Development Plans and the Global SDGs. If you are passionate about protecting the environment and to make a change, join the Pacific Greenpreneurs Program.” 

The accelerator program has unlocked growth potential in Kiribati through the lens of entrepreneurship. Earlier this year, the accelerator program commenced with 4 applicants from which two entrepreneurs, Mr. Kaiea Ribanataake Awira, founder of Clean Spatial Solution and Mr. Maatai Tamaiti, founder of Matai Trading successfully completed the program and were awarded a significant boost through zero-interest repayable grants of USD $50,000 (approximately AUD $75,500) each.  

Speaking on behalf of the graduating accelerator cohort, Mr. Awira thanked GGGI and QFFD, “I am thrilled to have completed the Pacific Greenpreneurs Accelerator Program, an invaluable journey that significantly bolstered my skills and knowledge. I extend my sincere appreciation to the Global Green Growth Institute for meticulously organizing and coordinating this transformative program. Moreover, I am deeply grateful to the Qatar Fund for Development for their pivotal role in financing this initiative, enabling its success,” he further stated.  

Mr. Tamaiti, shared in his remarks “As one of the PGEN Incubator alumni and Accelerator participant, I am filled with gratitude and so blessed to be given this opportunity and to be part of this amazing journey. Mr. Tamaiti stated, “We were provided with an intensive training and workshop where we learnt relevant skills, met like-minded Greenpreneurs, shared insights, made connections and inspired one another along the way.” 

A total of USD $110,000 (approximately AUD $166,140) in grants were awarded at the graduation event to unlock the transition towards a greener, more sustainable future, fostering economic growth and prosperity through green entrepreneurship in Kiribati.  

Since the commencement of PGEN program a total of USD 130,000 (approximately AUD $195,800) in grants have been awarded to Kiribati enterprises. The Kiribati Incubator & Accelerator Greenpreneur graduates are part of the regional Pacific Greenpreneurs alumni, joining green enterprises who have completed the program in Fiji, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Vanuatu.

For more information on the Pacific Green Entrepreneurs Network, visit: www.pacificgreenpreneurs.com   

About the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) 

With 48 Member States, GGGI is an intergovernmental organization that supports developing country governments’ transition to a model of economic growth that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive. GGGI delivers programs in over 40 partner countries with technical support, capacity building, policy planning & implementation, and by helping to build a pipeline of bankable green investment projects. More on GGGI’s events, projects and publications can be found on https://gggi.org/ You can also follow GGGI on Twitter and join us on FacebookYouTube and LinkedIn

About Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD):  

Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) is a Qatari public institution committed, on behalf of the State of Qatar, to implement foreign aid projects by international best practices and standards. 

Since 2012, QFFD has been providing aid to many countries in accordance with the international cooperation goals of Qatar National Vision 2030. Its primary goal is to achieve inclusive and sustainable development by addressing global priority issues in education, health, and economic development. In this context, priority is given to the following Sustainable Development Goals: 

  1. SDG 3: “Ensuring healthy lives and well-being for all”; 
  2. SDG 4: “Ensuring fair and inclusive education for all and enhancing lifelong learning for all”; 
  3. SDG 8: “Promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and keeping full and productive employment and decent work for all.” 

To realize the optimal development impact, QFFD projects are also designed to have cross-cutting co-benefits within SDG (2) on “Zero hunger” and SDG (6) on “Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” in addition to SDG (17) on “Partnerships to Achieve Goals.”  

QFFD cooperates with many reputable actors through strategic partnerships both locally and internationally. These include Civil Society Organizations, government agencies, UN agencies, and the private sector.