Members of SICCI and the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs who attended the Grant Signing for the establishment of the Youth Entrepreneurship Council (YEC).

A Young Entrepreneurs Council (YEC) will soon be set up under the auspice of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) after the signing of a Grant Agreement between SICCI and the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA) on Monday 22nd August at the Heritage Park.

The agreement was signed by SICCI Chair, Jay Bartlett and the Permanent Secretary (Supervising) of MWYCFA, Justus Denni.

The ceremony was attended by senior government officials, members of the SICCI Board and successful young entrepreneurs.

Through the Grant Agreement, MWYCFA will provide funds amounting to $200,000 to meet the cost of setting up the council.

SICCI will also provide additional resources including support services.

In his official remarks, SICCI Chair Mr Bartlett commended the leadership and commitment of the Government through MWYCFA for having foresight to collaborate and invest in a Young Entrepreneurs Council through the provision of funds for its establishment.

The Chair also highlighted the importance of the council: “The Young Entrepreneurs Council will provide a platform for our young and talented youth and aspiring young leaders to access services to transform innovative ideas into successful business opportunities”.

“In looking forward to the future, it is vital that young people be part of that vision and YEC is one of many ways we can engage our young people,” says Mr Bartlett.

The Supervising Permanent Secretary of MWYCFA, Justus Denni who signs on behalf of the Ministry also acknowledged the importance of YEC especially in the context of the emerging issues and challenges young people are faced with, noting that YEC will play a critical role in supporting talented entrepreneurs becoming successful.

According to SICCI CEO, Dennis Meone, the signing of the grant agreement continues to demonstrate the true spirit of collaboration between government and the private sector.

“We can achieve so much if we work in partnership and explore innovative ways and the signing is a first step towards operationalizing the Young Entrepreneurs Council,” says Meone.

YEC is expected to be formally launched late in the year and will be a representative body and voice for young entrepreneurs including providing support services such as business mentoring, coaching and trainings.

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