Thirteen Green Entrepreneurs from Vanuatu graduate from the Pacific Greenpreneurs program 2023

[Port Vila, Vanuatu, 23rd November 2023] – The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in partnership with the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) celebrated the graduation of its 2023 cohort of the Pacific Greenpreneurs  incubator and accelerator program. The Vice President of Sanma Province, Mr. Sylvio Moli as the Guest of Honor at the official ceremony that was held at Ports & Harbor in Luganville. 

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

In 2023, through the VCCI, the Vanuatu program was based in Vanuatu’s second largest economic hub of Espiritu Santo. Expressing his appreciation for the program serving his province, the Vice President of Sanma Province, Mr. Sylvio Moli stated “The transformative power and innovation of MSMEs/green businesses cannot be underestimated, and we are here today to celebrate and support green businesses. Beyond green enterprises’ positive impact on the environment, we applaud PGEN’s focus on supporting green job creation, particularly in increasing opportunities for women and youth.” Mr. Moli stated. 

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, “Today, we applaud the achievements of 9 incubator and 4 accelerator graduates of the 2023 cohort, who have displayed exemplary dedication throughout their programs. Through our partnership with VCCI we are pleased to support green businesses based in Santo, who often lack access to business support programs available in the capital.” 

Ms. Esther Wenau, VCCI Project Supervisor expressed her gratitude to GGGI, “We would like to thank the Global Green Growth Institute for the partnership in working together in this program, we thank our funding partner, Qatar Fund for Development for funding this program and all the hardworking business entrepreneurs who are part of this program. Without you, we will not be here today.” Stated Ms. Wenau.  

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 graduates successfully completed their respective programs and received certificates in recognition of their hard work and perseverance. These diverse green businesses span various sustainable industries, including conservation of marine biodiversity, sustainable tourism, climate smart agriculture, manufacturing & handicrafts, information technology and agro-processing. 

The four-month incubator program supported existing innovative early-stage green micro, small, and medium-enterprises (MSMEs) with demonstrated growth potential based in Santo that are still in pursuit of a scalable and repeatable business model through blended training, mentoring, in-person events, and networking opportunities. Graduating entrepreneurs participated in a business competition, with four winners of USD $5,000 (approximately VUV $602,785.02) each in seed grant funding announced at today’s event. 

The six-month accelerator program supported established high-potential green enterprises to move towards investment-readiness through on-going business advisory mentoring, coaching, masterclass training, investor pitching and networking.  

Two Accelerator graduates were successful in receiving a significant boost through zero-interest repayable grants of USD $20,000 and $50,000 (approximately VUV $2,406,783 and VUV $6,016,958).  This financial support aspires to promote green businesses as well as stimulate economic growth that plays a vital role in fostering sustainability within Vanuatu and the Pacific region. 

A total of USD $90,000 (approximately VUV $108,310,810) in grants were awarded at the graduation event to empower innovative green enterprises across Vanuatu. This brings the total funds awarded to enterprises in Vanuatu to USD $115,000 (approximately VUV $13,840,251) since the start of Pacific Green Entrepreneurs Network (PGEN).  

Speaking on behalf of the graduating Accelerator Greenpreneurs, Mr. John Ken Matahu founder of Ituani Vocational Skills Centre, thanked GGGI, QFFD and VCCI. “Entrepreneurs face many challenges and take risks to provide services to supply market demand and contributed to create employment opportunity to job seekers.” Mr. Matahu reminded all the graduates, “You are selected out from many applicants and you should be proud of yourself as the business you have created or started is in line with GGGI’s objectives of green business that not only provides service or product for human consumption or use but also your business plays a vital role to support protecting the environment.” 

The Vanuatu Greenpreneur graduates are part of the regional Pacific Greenpreneurs alumni, joining green enterprises who have completed the programs in Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga.  

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. 

About Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI): 

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) is Vanuatu’s National Private Sector organisation. Established in 1995 under the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Vanuatu Act, the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) is a statutory body with a 16-member Council that represents Vanuatu’s private sector. All businesses with a valid Vanuatu business license are automatically VCCI members. VCCI’s new vision statement, a stable and prosperous economy, encouraging trade, investment and providing economic opportunities for all members of society throughout Vanuatu, is proudly borrowed from Vanuatu 2030 – The People’s Plan, the country’s National Sustainable Development Plan. It clearly indicates VCCI’s intention to become an organisation that makes a unique and significant contribution to the future of the country by representing the private sector in dialogue with Government and others, and by providing effective business development services across the country.  

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