Business mentorship programme seeks participants

Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand (P.T.I. NZ) has announced the next round of a business mentoring programme for Samoa to assist small to medium-sized businesses in becoming export-ready for New Zealand. 

The P.T.I. NZ is an agency of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (P.I.F.S.) and is funded by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (M.F.A.T.).

The programme, created in 2020, is part of the wider Path to Market initiative. According to a Pacific Trade Invest media release, the Business Mentoring Programme is an accelerated 10-week course designed to help fast track export capable businesses to be export-ready for the New Zealand market.

Pacific Trade Invest is now seeking interested parties, mainly small to medium enterprises (S.M.Es) to commit to the intensive programme, expected to start on 21 May.

Applicants must have a registered business operating in Samoa; have products that may be suitable for the NZ market; have production capacity for export sales; have the resources to support an exporting business (this relates to money and people); be fully motivated to commit the time and effort to complete the programme, and be able to communicate easily by web conferencing such as Zoom, Skype and telephone with the appropriate strategies and contacts for exporting to New Zealand.

According to a Pacific Trade Invest media release, Trade Commissioner Glynis Miller said, “The Business Mentoring Programme is an intensive ten-week programme which we are offering to three Samoan registered businesses. Our programme doesn’t cost participants financially, but we do expect a high level of commitment.”

“We are looking for focused, driven business owners who want to accelerate their export readiness," she said. 

"We know there are businesses in Samoa who are keen to grow their market share and this programme will focus on offering business mentorship to individual businesses to help with their export strategy, marketing, sales and financial plans which will put them in good stead when they are ready to export to NZ.”

According to the Commissioner, while New Zealand remains in a closed border situation with Samoa, the business mentorship programme will be conducted remotely. 

She added that having had success running this programme remotely firstly in Fiji, then in Tonga, they are confident that they can achieve the same high-level outcomes for the selected S.M.Es. 

At the beginning of the programme, participants will take part in an initial business capability assessment. This will identify any knowledge or skills gaps and once identified, the Programme is individually tailored to the needs of each business with the support to ensure they are effectively addressed.

This will be achieved through one-to-one training and mentorship covering the disciplines required to be a successful exporter. 

With the programme, businesses will become more proficient in production planning, financial forecasting, export planning, product development and marketing intel. 

Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand is part of the Pacific Trade Invest Network of offices operating in Sydney, Australia; Beijing, People’s Republic of China; Geneva, Switzerland and Auckland, New Zealand. 

Pacific Trade Invest NZ is mandated by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (P.I.F.S), supporting the 16 Forum countries from the Blue Pacific: the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia (F.S.M), Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea (P.N.G), Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

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