Workshop to support young entrepreneurs

The Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry has organised a workshop for young entrepreneurs to assist them learn more about entrepreneurship and grow their business portfolios.

The Youth Innovation Workshop is funded by a US$10,000 grant from the U.S Embassy in Apia under its Small Grants Scheme 2020 and started on Tuesday morning at the Elisa Hotel conference room.

The four-day workshop program saw participants being given guidance by local mentors, getting to know more about business, growing their business portfolios and developing their own business ideas.

Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Officer, Lemauga Hobart Vaai, told the Samoa Observer in an interview that the workshop is to better prepare the youth entrepreneurs and those who are already engaging or have businesses in the digital space.

Lemauga explained that what they wanted to provide for them is more support and more networking as well as capacity building to help their businesses grow.

He revealed that they received 127 applications for the workshop and they want to make sure they bring in many as possible to participate. 

A total of 33 were invited to attend the workshop on Tuesday, he added. 

When asked how the workshop will benefit the participants during an economic downturn brought on by the pandemic, he said they are encouraging the businesses to grow.

The COVID-19 pandemic has opened the door to new opportunities, according to Lemauga, who then made reference to the growth of e-commerce globally.

“There’s a lot of great opportunities out there that can help grow their businesses during this time,” he said when encouraging the entrepreneurs.

Lemauga also confirmed that the programme will become available to people from Upolu and Savaii.

"We have got participants here from all over Upolu. We have actually got a couple from Savai’i," he said.

Lemauga emphasised that the main goal they are looking at is to take the programme to Savaii for young entrepreneurs by New Year.

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