The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is now inviting grant proposals from members of the Pacific business community seeking to boost business operations through e-commerce.
Launched on 4 May 2022, the regional grant facility is funded by Korea and managed by PIF. The facility aims to provide capital support to Pacific Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to enhance their products and service provisions, increase their marketability, appeal, and accessibility to Korean consumers.
This is the second round of applications of the grant cycle. The first call awarded a total of USD 60,000 grant to six Pacific MSMEs at a Grant Award Ceremony held at the PIF’s headquarters in Suva on 15 November 2022.
Ms Agnes Fruean, the founder of the Samoan-based enterprise ThisnThat and a grant recipient of the first round, explained, ‘The e-commerce grant has been a huge help to our small business. With the grant we were able to acquire much-needed equipment that enabled us to handle the back-end operations required for our online business. We have a growing number of followers on our social media channels where we first started with international orders, and we are in the process of finalising our online store to be live in May 2023.’
Ms Fruean expressed gratitude stating, ‘We are also very appreciative of this grant because it has been instrumental to enable our online business journey. Faafetai tele lava for this wonderful grant, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. For anyone that is looking to take their business online, I strongly encourage you to apply. This grant will help set you up for success.’
Mr. Noah Patrick Kouback, Programme Adviser Trade at the PIF commented, ‘After a successful first round, we are thrilled to announce the reopening of applications for the second time thanks to the ongoing financing support of the Republic of Korea. This grant opportunity is aligned well with the 2050 Blue Strategy and the aspirations of the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap’
The second grant cycle welcomes applications from Pacific businesses that have been in operation for at least 12 months from the time of application. The grant is intended to assist businesses with all aspects of online business operation or e-commerce activity, with a strong preference for proposals that include well justified costs of up to USD 10,000. Pacific businesses must submit completed applications by 5PM, 17 May 2023 (FJT).
The initiatives of this regional grant facility are in line with Measure 7.1.1 of the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap, as it targets MSMEs (tech start-ups and e-commerce ventures) that are considered risk-prone by commercial banks, making access to traditional finance virtually impossible at domestic level.
For more information and how to apply see below:
- General Information: Tender #1363154 (tenders.net)
- Download the application here: 2nd Call of E-Commerce Grant for Pacific MSMEs (office.com)
- Contact: SMEgrant@forumsec.org