Business growth programme launched
A business growth programme for small to medium-size enterprise (S.M.E.) has been launched by the Samoa Business Hub
The programme – which is funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (M.F.A.T.) and Palladium Akina – was launched at the Oceanview Complex, Sogi on Monday evening with the commissioning hosted by the Samoa Business Hub (S.B.H. was previously the Small Business Enterprise Centre).
Samoa Business Hub’s Business Growth Programme Manager, Faalogo Rosemary Tone, said a key feature of the training programme is its five-month business accelerator.
"It is Samoa Business Hub but it is everyone's programme, and one key element of the Programme is a five month business accelerator. This accelerator covers areas such as export, marketing, financial management, strategic planning and human resource management,” she said.
“Training will be delivered at a pace that enables small to medium enterprises in the key elements and applicable learning skills immediately in their businesses, to encourage, learning by doing and during the accelerator, businesses will review and revise their business model, consider their growth plans and develop a business plan that can be pitched to banks and/or investors interested in funding Samoan SMEs.”
New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Samoa, Dr. Trevor Matheson, said he was excited to be on hand to witness the official launching of the business-support programme.
"I am excited for the new programme and our partnership and collaboration over 25 years,” he said.
The business growth programme is designed for entrepreneurs who want to grow their business and is aimed at small to medium size enterprises looking to expand either in Samoa or through exporting internationally.
Support and advice will be provided to participants over a 10 month period, making it very different from other business support programmes. The Small Business Operation Level ii is accredited by the Samoa Qualifications Authority (S.Q.A.) and is set to run from April 15 to October 9 and will cost $800 tala.
Faalogo said other elements of the accelerator program include master classes, which will be delivered by subject matter experts from Small Business Hub’s partners.
She added that Samoa’s main commercial banks will work in partnership with S.B.H. and program participants to access their loan guarantee scheme, which offers credit guarantee support of up to $100,000 tala.
Stephen Morris, who is part of the S.B.H. management group, highlighted the importance of coaching and mentoring offered by the program.
“An extremely important component of the program is the coaching and mentoring. Each program participant will be matched with a local business coach with extensive business experience, who will support the SME to implement changes to improve its business,” he said. “In addition, Rotary Club in Auckland is in provision with one-to-one mentoring with experienced New Zealand business mentors for the participants. These mentors will provide industry-specific advice, advise businesses on their growth plans and facilitate connections into international markets.”
The International Labour Organisation (I.L.O.) was also acknowledged for financially supporting the program at the launching on Monday evening.