Sustainable Development Success Stories
|Location||Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.|
International Labour Organisation (ILO), in partnership with UNIDO for related SED activities. Funded by UNDP.
Business (SYB) and Improve Your Business (IYB) are programmes
geared towards training of entrepreneurs who want to start or
improve a small business. The programmes assist in training of
trainers, developing training manuals, and supporting the
development of an infrastructure for the sustainable delivery of
entrepreneurship training through local institutions. These
institutions, along with small enterprise support organisations
and NGOs, are assisted to provide support to community groups
and disadvantaged groups in the development and strengthening of
small business activities. The programme is made sustainable
through skills training of business advisers and trainers, and
the supply of materials. The projects have been undertaken to
promote self-employment and job-creation in the South Pacific.
The South Pacific Small Island countries involved in these
projects are at a stage of changing from non-monetary
subsistence economies to a situation where there is a breakdown
of traditional extended family systems, a strong rural/urban
drift, and an increasingly well educated population.
Unfortunately, job creation has not kept pace with the social
transition. This is leading to increasing social friction at
rural and particularly urban levels, rising crime rates and
widespread unemployment. The situation is aggravated by the
absence of entrepreneurship skills within the population due to
the traditional communal economic culture. The SYB/IYB
programmes were first started in Fiji between 1991 and 1995
followed by a regional SIYB project in nine Pacific Island
Countries implemented in 1995-1996, with follow-up support till
date. From 1997, a SIYB project is being implemented in
Regional SIYB project: This was implemented in 9 Pacific Island countries (Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu). With the assistance of national counterparts, trainers from a variety of local organisations were trained. With only limited small enterprise support organisations available, the project aimed at the establishment of Trainers Associations to coordinate SIYB activities in the countries. Support also included assistance in institutionalisation of activities in user organisations.
Fiji project: SYB and IYB training packages were developed and well over 100 trainers were trained in SYB and IYB. The project also assisted the Government of Fiji in the establishment of a Small Business Advisory Unit (SBAU).
Kiribati: The ongoing SIYB project has separate SYB and IYB components. Learning from the earlier Fiji and regional projects, a comprehensive certification procedure is implemented which provides the formally established Trainers Association with clear financial incentives to conduct SIYB courses in the capital. Direct technical support and temporary financial incentives are provided to the two most important training institutes in the country to institutionalize the programme. The training institutions can draw on certified trainers from the Association to conduct such training. The project directly assists in the translation of the materials, which enables the Ministry of Commerce and the Business Advisory Centre to conduct SIYB courses in the outer islands. The focus of SYB programmes in all institutions is the completion of a business plan during the training of entrepreneurs (TE) programme, with direct linkage and involvement of support institutions such as the Business Advisory Centre and the Development Bank. For IYB-ToEs, the same linkages will enable the provision of follow-up support through Business Improvement Groups and Individual Counseling.
|Issues Addressed||Local capacity building, sustainable development and strengthening of small business activities, promotion of self-employment.|
All projects have been successful in providing an important impetus for employment promotion in the region and have provided an important contribution to the development of a small business sector in the countries in the region. The more recent projects are benefiting from the previous experiences and are making SYB/IYB programmes more sustainable and more integrated.
Regional project: A number of locally translated SYB versions have been produced and SYB courses are still organised on a regular basis in 6 out of 9 countries (Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu). An important step to make the programme sustainable has been the involvement of the University of the South Pacific (USP). USP has extension centres in 12 out of the 22 Forum member states, and has agreed to include SYB-TEs in its short course programmes in the Pacific by hiring the trainers trained under the project. Courses are provided by USP extension centres at the normal rates (full cost-recovery price). This approach may guarantee that SYB activities will be sustained in the future.
Fiji project: The project left a pool of trainers working mostly in different ministries who are still conducting SYB and IYB courses on a regular basis for their target groups. These include the Ministry of Fijian Affairs (assisting ethnic Fijians to start businesses); Ministry of Women’s Affairs (develop income generating activities for women groups); Ministry of Youth Affairs (assisting youth to become self-employed through the Youth Options Centre); NGOs and training institutions. Among the latter are the University of the South Pacific through its extension centres, and the Fiji Institute of Technology, a major vocational training institute. The project has thus achieved a certain level of sustainability, and jobs are being created as a result of the regular courses provided through the different agencies.
The main focus of the Fiji and regional projects was on ToTs, development of training materials and support to business support agencies. Lessons learned from these projects include:
Mr. HR Hatton, Director