The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) on August 7-8 successfully delivered a business training workshop for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in and around Honiara.
The training was based on ‘Why am I in businesses’ with 20 participants from businesses and local businesses owners participating.
It was financially supported by Credit Corp (SI) Limited.
SICCI currently has over 200 members as well as a number of affiliations to other national private sector organisations, covering approximately 80 percent of the Solomon Islands private sector workforce.
Sixty (60) percent of the SICCI membership is made up of SMEs employing less than 20 employees.
SICCI’s Export Industry Development Officer (EIDO), John Paul Alasia says efforts to build required infrastructure, ensuring good governance and providing social welfare for our citizens should be accompanied by strengthening of SMEs.
“SMEs can contribute significantly to overall development. An efficient private sector can contribute, both directly and indirectly, to decreasing unemployment, increasing wages, generating tax revenue, increasing wealth, and contributing to a stronger nation.
“As such, building their capacity through necessary training to enable SMEs to grow is vital to economic development in the country,” Mr Alasia.
Credit Corp Ltd Managing Director, Mr Tony Langston opened the training workshop by offering encouragement to participants and ensuring his organization’s willingness to assist small businesses in the country grow.
Mr Langston assures aspiring businessmen and women and small business owners that Credit Corp offer services such as loans that can help businesses grow if businesses show commitment in getting their operations off the ground first.
Workshop participants have spoken highly of the training they are receiving after day one.
Nathaniel Menigi, who owns a security firm in Honiara, said this is a golden opportunity for him to learn some of the things he has not been able to do during his business operations so far.
“For us small businesses we are trying to grow at the same time help our communities by providing job opportunities.
“I really appreciate SICCI for organizing such workshops where we can acquire new knowledge of how to grow our businesses,” he said.
Another participant, Robert Mesa has been in the export industry for 12 years but still found the workshop very useful.
“I work at the Lagoon Eco Timber company and we have been exporting our products to Australia and New Zealand.
“Since it’s a family business there is always pressure on our small team to get the job done, as such, I always eye opportunities for business training and my focus is to obtain knowledge to expand the business,” he said.
“This workshop is actually very useful, especially the illustrations by the facilitator which made us reflect to what we are doing wrong in real life in terms of business,” he added.
For some participants, it was a matter of getting them out of their comfort zone and meet different people, gaining new knowledge and do network.
Mr Ben Nginabule, Manager of the Solomon Islands Small Business Enterprise Centre (SISBEC) gave a presentation on day two on support services SISBEC has to offer for small businesses and advice on some effective and simple ways of planning a business for the future.
The workshop is facilitated by Chris Elphick of Breadfruit Consulting who is an experienced trainer, coach and business mentor and has years of experience working with Small and Medium Enterprises.
Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry
1st Floor, Suite 223, Hyundai Mall,
T: (+677) 39542
T: (+677) 39543
F: (+677) 39544