New COVID-19 Webinar Series for Fijian MSMEs
Suva, Fiji – Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across Fiji will soon have access to a free webinar series aimed at helping them respond and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
Starting 11 June, the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF) through its Fiji Enterprise Engine (FEE) Accelerator Program will launch a new webinar series over the next 6 weeks for MSMEs on key business topics and facilitated by international and local expert business coaches.
“Now more than ever business owners are in more need of support due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its extensive impact on businesses in Fiji. We are happy to say that with the incorporation of webinars we can further assist these businesses at no cost to them at all – for this we extend our sincere thanks to our partners in the Australian Government through the MDF and the International Labour Organisation,” said Mr Sandeep Chauhan, President of the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation.
The FEE Accelerator Program was set up in 2019 by FCEF with support from the Australian Government-funded Market Development Facility (MDF).
FEE is Fiji’s first private sector-led business acceleration program, consisting of classes, one-on-one mentoring and networking activities aimed at supporting participant entrepreneurs to accelerate their business growth.
In response to COVID-19, FCEF in partnership with MDF has expanded the FEE program to provide a number of new services including the free webinar series to assist MSMEs in the country.
“The FEE initiative successfully demonstrates how the right support and services can provide a vehicle for accelerated growth for small businesses in Fiji. During this time, it can also provide a platform where MSMEs all over Fiji can come together to share experiences, receive relevant and key insights to help them develop an effective response to the current challenges they face, which is so important,” said H.E. John Feakes, Australian High Commissioner to Fiji.
The weekly webinar series will cover specific topics related to local MSME challenges in dealing with COVID-19, from strategic to financial management, to marketing and human resource management.
Businesses will also be able to book follow up one-to-one business coaching and counselling sessions with the expert local business coaches to seek further advice and information suited to their specific needs.
“The ILO continues to support FCEF, as a social partner and its vision to contribute to Fiji’s economic growth through a vibrant private sector that creates jobs through enterprise and entrepreneurship development. Therefore, ILO’s support for the Fiji Enterprise Engine , the first private sector led execrator programme, from the pilot and first cohort, is of no exception. As we transit to the second cohort of FEE, it is imperative to ensure that we equip the young and women entrepreneurs to sustain their enterprises and jobs of their employees, against the challenges posed by COVID19. The ILO with its Employers Bureau has started to work with FCEF on developing resources relating to sustainable enterprises that will contribute to the FEE Programme.” said Mr. Matin Karimli Director of the International Labour Organisation.
The FEE Coaching and Remote Counselling services will be available from 11 June to 3 July 2020. To register for the webinar series please visit: http://www.fcef.com.fj/fee/
The Fiji Commerce & Employers Federation is Fiji’s largest private sector organisation. It represents the interests of the employers and the private sector at large in the country.
The Market Development Facility (MDF) initially supported FCEF in 2018 to set up a business acceleration service for its members, in particular the Young Entrepreneurs Council (YEC) and Women Entrepreneurs & Business Councils (WEBC). The pilot of the program was completed in November 2019. 12 MSMEs graduated from the program, of which 47% were women, and reported successful results. The MSMEs earned an additional $200,000 and saved up to $113,000 through lessons learnt and implemented from FEE.
FEE is now incorporating business support through webinars, business counselling and business coaching services to assist MSMEs to manage the immediate crisis and identify new business models and new opportunities arising out of COVID-19. The 6-month Accelerator Program for 15 participating MSMEs is expected to start in September.
FOR MEDIA USE
If you would like further information or interviews, please contact:
Savenaca Baro, Business Accelerator Manager, Fiji Commerce & Employers Federation (FCEF)
Phone: 863 0608
Lauren Robinson, Communications Specialist, Market Development Facility
Phone: 777 2063