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Empowering Entrepreneurs: PIFS E-biz workshop successfully delivered in four Pacific countries

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) proudly completed its E-commerce training tailored to four countries and aimed at supporting small businesses in transitioning from online to offline. Training workshops were held simultaneously in Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu earlier in the year, with the fourth being extended to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) in mid-March 2024.

The three-day training workshop is a component of the PIFS E-biz Plus Program, which empowers small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the Pacific with digital transformation skills. Altogether, 119 enthusiastic entrepreneurs from FSM, Samoa, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu; engaged in a comprehensive program, gaining practical insights and skills essential for navigating and succeeding in the online marketplace. The training draws from the PIFS E-Biz Toolkits produced for FSM, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, which provide simple guidelines for businesses from a given industry in one of the four countries to start doing business online.

Zarak Khan, PIFS Director of Programmes and Initiatives, says the rising demand for e-commerce training is demonstrating the growth and importance of this sector across the region. “The Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap to elevate our entrepreneurs, and this workshop is one of the practical initiatives to achieve that goal.”

Entrepreneurs gave positive feedback on the workshop. Dalida Borlasa from Yumi Up, a Vanuatu startup focusing on recycling services, said, “I found the E-commerce workshop very valuable because it taught me to create good relationships with customers who interact with my business online. I believe that the course will help me move forward with my business goals.”

Lorna Perman, another participant from the FSM, gained valuable insights from the workshop and commended the professional trainers, saying, “I was inspired by both of them (PIF trainers) and the other participants. Thank you for a truly fun and enlightening 3 days of training.”

The support under PIFS E-biz Plus program continues beyond the workshop; all participants are eligible to apply for a coaching scheme and E-commerce grants of up to EUR 5,000, designed to help businesses shift online. Moreover, PIFS is launching an online Community of Practice for digital entrepreneurs to engage interactively and access valuable resources, mentorship and networking opportunities thus sustaining growth of the Pacific E-commerce

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