The Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are close neighbors with similarities in terms of culture and climate separated by a short 3-hour flight from Honiara to Port Vila. Entrepreneurs in both these countries share similar challenges in their journey to contribute their Nations Socio – Economic growth.
The Young Entrepreneurs Council Solomon Islands (YECSI) in partnership with V-Lab a Business & Idea Incubator organization in Vanuatu has successfully completed a six weeks of online exchange learning with a joint ideation program held on Thursday the 25th of August 2022 at the HCC Youth Hub.
During the course of the exchange program, 5 topics were discussed which were; Preparing of an effective idea, Confidence, Culture and Custom, Gender Inclusion and Business Sustainability & Resilience. Ten YECSI Members and V-Lab members from Vanuatu got the opportunity to learn from different allocated guest speakers from Solomon Islands and Vanuatu who spoke on the given topics. Following the guest speaker’s presentation, the cohort from Vanuatu and Solomon Islands had online group discussions on the relevance and importance of the topics to their respective businesses as young entrepreneurs in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
The speakers themselves brought with them personal experiences in the topics they presented on and framed their discussions around how the chosen topic can influence and impact the way we do business. YECSI would like to thank Neil Nuia from Dreamcast Theatre, Moses Jnr Aunama founder of TMC foundation, Nathaniel Dolaiasi Ethno Music artistic leader and Ms. Afu Billy UNDP SECSIP Senior Adviser for sharing their stories and giving their time to discuss with the cohort from Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. Thus, YECSI also thanked speakers from Vanuatu and Chris Elphick from Breadfruit Consulting for facilitating the 5 sessions.
YECSI members who took part in the online learning program over the past five weeks have learned a lot from the lessons and challenges shared by the V-lab entrepreneurs as well as the knowledge offered by the guest presenter at each session.
In the final Ideation Networking personal testimonies were shared by the participants from Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. Gaylyn Matiuru, is a young female entrepreneur from Solomon Islands focusing on the Art and Craft Sector. Gaylyn shared that one of the things she realized is the importance of understanding the ecosystem surrounding her as an entrepreneur including her supporters, her clients and those she labelled others. Gaylyn stressed the importance of being able to build personal confidence in running her business and how this has a role to play in managing the negative and positive impacts Kastom has on any business.
YECSI Coordinator Maverick Seda and YECSI Chairman John Wopereis in their remarks during the Ideation Networking event emphasized the importance of YECSI Members and V-Lab members sharing and learning from each other as we have so much in common as close neighbors. They stress that having a strong partnership at the organization level through such initiative should be more encouraged not only for Solomon Islands and Vanuatu but for all entrepreneurs around the pacific providing a regional platform to learn, network and grow business to business partnerships in the process breaking regional geographical barriers through people-to-people connections.
Building bridges between V-Lab and YECSI is an activity supported by the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji as part of their Social Impact Program.
YECSI acknowledges the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji for supporting this exchange learning program partnership between V-Lab in Vanuatu and Young Entrepreneurs Council Solomon Islands (YECSI).
YECSI would like to extend our sincere thanks to our local partners the Honiara City Council Youth Team, Ministry of Youth and Chamber of Commerce (SICCI). We would also like to acknowledge the New Zealand High Commission for their continuous support to our community of entrepreneurs.
- YECSI Media-