“Every step counts and taking minimal strides will enable us to reach our dreams.”
This is the view of one of the participants of the five-day training held at the Tooa Salamasina Hall for 26 participants from Upolu – on developing social enterprise business skills.
The plight and predicament of our vulnerable people have been widely publicised; it has featured continuously in the local papers, Samoa Observer’s Village Voice, social and the mass media.
Unemployment remains critical and unless alternative pathways and platforms are identified to address the root causes of these conditions, our people will be further affected and pushed into absolute poverty.
In response, the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (M.W.C.S.D.) Samoa One UN Youth Employment Project, in collaboration with the E.W.A.C.C. Project (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment) and Samoa Business Enterprise Center (S.B.E.C.) trained 34 families of Upolu and Savaii in the past weeks.
The participants were identified from the Tracer Youth Employment Survey conducted jointly by the Samoan National Youth Council in 2016.
These participants were among the 800 unemployed youth identified by the Survey in 14 villages in Upolu and Savaii.
Significantly, all the participants are from low income families where no one is employed and limited access to basic facilities and services (electricity and water for instance) are noted.
The training for Savaii was held at the Jetover Hotel Conference Room from 24th to 27th October, 2017. The training for Upolu was held from 13th to 17th November 2017 at Tooa Salamasina Hall.
As part of their training, the participants also completed business plans, which will form the basis of financial assistance through the Samoa One UN Youth Employment Project in collaboration with the EWACC Project.
The small grants are generated through the Small Business Incubator “Without Walls” model. This model forms the platform that will support all these 34 families for up to three years, until they graduate and continue on their own.
The small businesses include farming and gardening, BBQ stalls and other small scale businesses.