Over 100 business owners and operators across three provincial locations have completed intensive one day workshops on Business Preparedness Planning, aimed at building the resilience of the private sector to disruptions caused by both manmade and natural events.
VCCI trainers Yvonne Leo Taiki, Irene Titek and Jack Ulas from Youth Challenge travelled to Luganville, Lakatoro, and Lenakel over the past 3 weeks to deliver these trainings.
‘The purpose of the workshops was to guide businesses through a planning process by which the end product is a tailored Business Continuity or Preparation Plan, to be created with staff input and implemented in times of business disruption. Disruptions discussed range from a simple power outage, all the way to experiencing a tropical cyclone’ says Yvonne, VCCI’s Business Services Manager and workshop facilitator.
Although exact figures are not known it is believed that over 50% of TC Pam affected SMEs (small, medium enterprises) had to close their doors within the first 6 months post event, with the number even higher in Fiji post TC Winston.
Training facilitator Jack Ulas from Youth Challenge shared that ‘the objectives of these workshops are to discuss why it is important to be prepared for a disruption and understand what Business Continuity or Preparedness Planning is, and identifying the key characteristics of resilient businesses who not only survive major disruptions but who come back stronger. It’s also about learning, through sharing stories with one another, and just a great way to meet others from the business community’.
Participants agreed. ‘Woksop ia emi brekem taon gud ol tinktink blong mekem rere long bisnis blong mi lo taem wan disrapsen I tekem ples, mo tu blong helpem kroem mo holem taet bisnis blong mi blong emi no brok taon afta lo ol disrapsen’ Business owner from Luganville, Santo
The workshops are a key activity for VCCI, in partnership with the Vanuatu Business Resilience Council, providing information around business resilience and preparedness to the private sector in Vanuatu. The team will be returning to each location later in the year to follow up on participant’s progress on their plans, and support them through further training.
The team will also be visiting Torba and Penama to facilitate Business Preparedness Planning workshops in the coming months. If you are interested in attending please feel free to contact Reception @ firstname.lastname@example.org, or on 27543
VCCI and VBRC would like to thank the USAID’s Climate Ready Project for providing the funding for this initiative.