British government support for social enterprise in the Pacific
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, British Minister for the Commonwealth and the United Nations, visited Samoa last week for the Pacific Islands Forum.
While in Apia, he visited Women in Business Development Inc (W.I.B.D.) and met with W.I.B.D President Peseta Afoa and Executive Director Adi Tafunai.
Lord Ahmad heard about W.I.B.D’s long and successful partnership with BodyShop and about W.I.B.D.I’s decision to become a social enterprise.
Lord Ahmad also announced the next two stages of UK support for the development of Social Enterprise in Samoa and across the region.
“First, I am delighted that the British Government funded Active Citizens programme will send several participants to Christchurch, New Zealand, for the Social Enterprise World Forum 2017 (27-29 September).
“We want to connect the Pacific participants and their international peers, so they can learn from each other’s experience and share stories about their social enterprise journey.”
“We also want to raise awareness amongst political and business leaders at the Forum about the opportunities social enterprises provide to meet Sustainable Development Goals by using a business model to create positive social impact“.
Lord Ahmad then looked ahead to later in the year:
“I am also pleased to announce that the first Active Citizens programme in Samoa will take place in November this year.
Working with partners around the globe, the British Council trains participants in the skills and knowledge they need to affect change in their communities.
In the Pacific, the focus will be on social enterprise, youth leadership and gender equality. Participants will include social entrepreneurs and young leaders from Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, the Solomon Islands and other Pacific island nations.”
The UK’s investment of GBP 60,000 supports Social Enterprise projects in the Pacific. The British Council is working with local partners - such as Women in Business Development (W.I.B.D.I) and the Small Business Enterprise Centre (S.B.E.C) - on adapting its international flagship Active Citizens programme to needs in Samoa and islands in the Pacific.
Active Citizens is the British Council’s global leadership training programme which builds skills in intercultural awareness, problem-solving and mentored community engagement.
The Social Enterprise World Forum is a global conference that promotes social enterprise as a mainstream approach to business. Social enterprise is a dynamic way of business that can transform communities and create profound and lasting social change.
The UK is seen as a world leader in social business innovation, with enabling legislation, tax breaks, and Government procurement of goods and services prioritized for recognized social enterprises.
The 2018 World Forum will be held in Scotland.