Vaisigano small business funding assistance opens

Potential funding assistance for small businesses has opened for residents living on the banks of the Vaisigano River in Apia. 

The Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP) is running a series of workshops in collaboration with the Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC), to introduce residents to the funding opportunity. The first workshop was held Tuesday at the Taugamanono Primary School in the Samoan capital. 

The overall goal of the jointly-run project is to improve the quality of life of villagers – who are most likely to be affected by river flooding – through an effective, sustainable, and strengthened program run by civil society organisations.

A representative for women in Taugamanono, Tumau Tafunai Fasavalu, said the plan had been ongoing for a while now and they’ve been waiting for consultations to be held in the villages as not everyone understood the benefits of the programme.

“This programme is very important for the people because a lot of us want to develop our own small business like plantations and so forth.

“I can see it in the eyes of my fellow villagers that they are very much interested to start their businesses already, and I also wish for them to do so because it’s all about the money – without money, we can’t do anything,” she added.

A resident at Magiagi, Janice Togia, said the assistance is what she needs to develop her small business, which was affected by the flooding last year.

“Ever since that flood, I stopped planting vegetables. Having to learn about this new strategy is very interesting because not only am I tempted to do so for the sake of my children, but also to develop my vegetable plantations again,” she said.
This week’s consultation is just a starting point for the project and next week will mark the opening for proposals from those who wish and are eager to develop their small business ventures. 

Programme Manager, Christina Taua said they want to help people who continue to be challenged by the impact of the Vaisigano River flooding.

A total of 31 villages from Afiamalu East to Moataa will be covered in a series of workshops run by the two non-government organisations.

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