Hub offers lessons in business savvy

The Samoa Business Hub which has been running a Business Nurturing Program focusing on improving the sustainability and business-savvy of small business owners. 

The Hub specialises in business training as well as coaching, advisory and mentoring services. 

In an interview with the Manager of the Micro and Start-up Business Unit for S.B.H, Ms. Atuaisaute Misipati, she said that the programme has been offering ongoing support to local businesses. 

“It has been in existence since 1994, but it was called the Start Your own Business training,” she said. 

“However, with the re-oriented S.B.H. which was launched in November 2019, the programme was split into three different programmes: the Business Nurturing Programme which caters for micro and startup businesses, the Business Elevation Programme which caters for small businesses and the Business Growth Programme that focuses on medium-to-large businesses. 

“We also have an S.Q.A. Accredited Program called the S.B.H. Small Business Operation Certificate Level 2”  

The Business Nurturing Programme is for anyone who requires training on how they can start and sustain their businesses. There is also the access to a finance component of up to $20,000 in which the Hub offers a full guarantee to any bank they bank with. 

“If people come in and they want financial assistance to improve their business, there is a registration and assessment process to ensure that candidate progresses through to the right program,” Atuaisaute said

“So the program that you’ll be registered under depends on how much the business needs and the size of your operation.

“Business owners can also register and participate if they require just the training component, not the finance component of the assistance.”

The programme has its own agenda for two weeks and some of the expected learning outcomes for the trainees to be able to verify and describe their business ideas, classify their customers, formulate a financial plan, prepare a cash flow plan and record a cash flow plan. 

Upon the completion of the two weeks training, certificates are issued to the clients which allow them to proceed to the next step, the preparation of their individual business plans or, if needed, access to finance. 

Atuaisaute says that the majority of the clients under the Business Nurturing Program consists of farmers.

“One of the biggest challenges that we face is changing the mindset of people towards banking their daily or weekly sales,” Atuaisaute said.

“The bank needs this record to make informed decisions and track the progress of their business. We are a hub that provides them with the information  and tools but it's really up to the farmers to implement what they’ve learned, hence why we conduct field inspections and visits, to offer further practical advice.”



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