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New Centre to Promote and Boost SMEs

Minister SME web we

The National Centre for Small and Micro Enterprise Development (NCSMED) recently opened its Promotion and Sales Centre that gives small and medium enterprises an opportunity to market and promote their products.

Located with the NCSMED head office in Suva, the new facility provides a platform for small and medium sized businesses to get the best exposure and have a better understanding of how the market works.

 

The launch of the new Centre is a milestone achievement for the organisation after tireless preparation for three years to have it operational for SMEs and the general public as well.

 

Speaking at the official launch on the 10th of June, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Hon. Faiyaz Koya had emphasised the importance and significant role that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) provide to Fiji’s economy.

“In Fiji, SMEs contribute approximately 12 percent or $800 million towards our GDP. It is an avenue through which the Fijian Government reaffirms its commitment to the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises. Our vision is that these small businesses should not remain small but grow,” said Mr Koya.

The Minister also highlighted that the Fijian Government wants to build a strong and resilient economy that is able to sustain external shocks and continue to grow.

 

“Most importantly, it is about enabling our grassroots to have a sustainable livelihood and better standard of living. Government wants to build a strong and resilient economy that is able to sustain external shocks and continue to grow.”

 

In accordance with this, the government has through initiatives like the Grant Equity Assistance Programme under the Northern Development Programme provided assistance for business owners in its efforts to boost SMEs progress in Fiji.

 

While addressing invited guests, Mr Koya added, “Today, a total of 1846 enterprises have been assisted with grants totalling to $6.4 million. 3073 businesses have undergone training.  80 per cent of the businesses under this Programme have been able to not only sustain themselves but also grow.”

 

According to Minister Koya government will channel over $1million to assist micro and small businesses. This specific initiative is, yet again, targeted at the grassroots community and individuals with special skills such as handicrafts, carpentry, and small-scale farmers. This grant facility will provide the start-up capital or targeted assistance to existing small and micro businesses of up to $1,000 each.

 

Moreover, 60 MSMEs and cooperatives have been assisted by the Ministry through a new mentoring programme, where these businesses are being monitored and are provided with technical support from the NCSMED.

 

“This year the programme will continue into its second phase in which we will be assisting new businesses. We are looking forward to partnering with the large corporations in Fiji to become mentors for our micro, small and medium entrepreneurs – who could become part of their value chain by providing either upstream or downstream services,” stressed Mr Koya.

 

The main constraint to MSMEs development and competitiveness is access to markets and marketing information.

 

Furthermore, NCSMED Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ravi Chand also highlighted that the statutory organisation has over the years developed and orchestrated an array of business support resources and services to accelerate the successful development of businesses.

 

“The Centre’s extensive armoury of SME focused initiatives includes finance training, business planning, mentoring, counselling, and advisory services. As for the Business Incubator Programme, all business support services together with office space and administrative services are provided to start up companies,” said Mr Chand.

 

He elaborated that the newly established Centre will improve the profile of the SME sector in general and helps improve business performance.

 

NCSMEDs new Promotions and Sales Centre is an avenue that will assist businesses in securing potential buyers and markets. The facility will complement the Fijian government’s other micro, small and medium enterprises development support programmes and initiatives. SMEs from throughout Fiji now have the opportunity to promote and sell their products from the new Centre.

 

In line with the new facility, NCSMED is in the process of creating an interactive website that will be available soon to further boost micro, small and medium enterprises connectivity to the local market and worldwide.

NCSMED’s extensive list of SME focused initiatives include: finance, training, business planning, mentoring, counselling, and advisory services.

 

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