Launch of online business portal to connect advisors, small business

About 200 small and medium enterprises (S.M.Es) from across Samoa attended the launch of the Business Link Pacific (B.L.P.) online portal at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel yesterday.

The online portal is designed to connect quality business advisors with small and medium-sized growing businesses in the Pacific. 

B.L.P. Samoa Service Manager, John Lemoa, said the portal allows S.M.Es the chance to grow their business, access new markets, and improve business efficiency with multiple service providers.

“It’s already live online and will be accessible to anyone anytime," he said. 

“Part of my role is to do this kind of assessments on businesses; it’s very similar to business health checks. 

"We talk about areas of their business, but now everything is done online. 

"There is still the option of talking face to face.”

He said more than 30 S.M.Es have been supported by B.L.P. in Samoa. 

“We encourage our S.M.Es to be connected to our local service providers and then if we can’t source a particular need here in Samoa, then we can look at the networks in the other islands,” Mr. Lemoa said. 

Sandra Mendez, the Communications and Impact Manager for B.L.P, said they are co-hosting the launch across Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. 

“The online portal was launched in Vanuatu on Thursday where about 200 businesses were in attendance," she said. 

“So far we have [had] a really good response from the business community across the region, with the registration of more than 1,000 businesses.” 

“There are 12 speakers across the four countries talking about S.M.E. issues, business resilience, advice and solutions to secure a bright future for small businesses.”

Ms. Mendez said they intend to expand their services to other Pacific Islands.  

Businesses can access free business health checks that identifies business gaps and connects them to a wide range of other service providers.

For business advisors, the portal offers a marketing tool to engage and provide financial benefits to eligible clients, as well as organisational and business development support from technical consultants.

B.L.P. is a private sector development programme funded by the New Zealand Government and operates in four Pacific Islands countries: Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Vanuatu. 

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