YOUNG social entrepreneurs from Malaita province advanced their ventures to address community challenges through a business training in Auki last week.
The three-day training for winning teams of the Malaita Youth Peacebuilding Innovation Forum held in September was geared towards informing the young entrepreneurs about business principles and helping them develop their social innovations into sustainable enterprises.
Training sessions covered estimating start-up costs, developing a business plan, pricing and marketing, among other concepts.
“The training is a starting point for us to make an active business,” said 22-year-old Julie Boinnia, a member of the Malamanila Juice team.
“Our hope is to quickly produce our product so that we can start making a difference in our town of Auki and involve other young people.”
The 13 training participants, who make up three teams of social entrepreneurs, started selling their products on a small scale after the provincial innovation forum. Approaches they learnt from the training will help them grow and manage their operations.
The United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (UNPBF) project, jointly implemented by UNDP and UN Women, organised the training through the Solomon Islands Small Business Enterprise Centre in partnership with Youth@Work and the Youth Division of the Malaita provincial government.
In addition to the training, the UNPBF project will support the forum winners by linking them with mentors and seed funding to develop their businesses.
In her closing remarks on Friday last week, the UNPBF project’s Deputy Project Manager, Gaylyn Puairana, said the training is an investment in the youth of Malaita province.
“By connecting these entrepreneurs with information and resources, they will have a better chance of operating successful enterprises that have real impacts at the community level,” Ms Puairana said.
“This support enables youth to play their role as peace advocates and drivers of development.”