From Tuesday 14 January through to Friday 17 January Provincial Officers from the Departments of Tourism, Cooperatives, and Industry, along with selected business owners from every province attended a four-day ‘Mentoring Micro Small Medium Enterprises’ workshop at the Grand Hotel in Port Vila. Over 30 attendees were present to hear the words of the Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business as he emphasized the need for Provincial Officers from all departments to work together and assist in the development of the country’s Private Sector.
The objective of the workshop was to build capacity that supports the development of business management and technical skills, as well as encourage Ni Vanuatu businesses to develop their ideas and start to diversify their ideas to strengthen their business initiatives.
To encourage partnership and cooperation each provincially based officer was requested to nominate an MSME representative who was invited to join their government counterparts to also be trained in mentoring, product innovation and product quality.
A total of 32 participants attended the workshop facilitated by consultant Mereana Mills and VCCI’s Business Resilience Training Officer Irene Titek. A range of talented local presenters including Kalowie Robert, Anthea Arnhambat Liu and Emily Tumukon to name a few were invited to lead the participants in sessions specific to their fields of profession which inspired both entrepreneurs and Provincial Officers alike.
Participants also got the chance to hear from VCCI Council Member Toara Karie, owner of Belair Airways Vanuatu Ltd, of his experiences and the importance of compliance when running a business. As a local business owner Toara shared that his initial feelings of being audited for civil aviation compliance was frightening but after his first audit he embraced the process as a learning opportunity for him and his team. His message to the participants was to ensure you do regular compliance checks throughout the year so that the audit process becomes easier, and that the compliance process should not be something to be afraid of.
Those who attended were also treated to a role play led by Wan Smol Bag on the importance of communication and client services offered by Provincial Officers, while a site visit to YUMIWORK located at the LOLAM Building where its founder Marc Gerard and local entrepreneur Lopez Adams shared their experiences in starting up and developing their business and the challenges they faced, was an inspiring highlight.
As the training came its conclusion on Friday both the Provincial Officers and MSMEs expressed their gratitude towards VCCI for successfully carrying out this first workshop of its kind. Participants have come to an understanding on how they can work together to use what they have learnt to improve their relationships and encourage growth of the MSMEs in their communities. Provincial Officers expressed their gratitude for their fresh understanding of how to go about their jobs in supporting and mentoring entrepreneurs in order to grow profitable business development for the people of Vanuatu.
VCCI’s Irene Titek shared ‘It is because we are all contributing to the common goals in the National Sustainable Development Plan that all agencies must stay connected to create positive change.’