BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
THE Markets for Change (M4C) project under the UN Women will hold a Market Business Fair at the Auki market this week to bring financial, agricultural and social service providers.
The focus is to share information, raise awareness and deliver services that typically do not reach market vendors and producers.
The Financial seminar and fair will take place at the Auki market from today (September 12—13) basically targeting rural and urban market vendors and service providers at Auki, Malaita province.
It is reported that about 75 to 95 percent of market vendors are women, and majority lack progressive business skills, timely information and access to financial services needed to strengthen their business and attain economic security.
Market vendors, especially rural producers and part-time vendors, come to the market only once or twice a week and rarely get appropriate and user-friendly information on financial services.
The high cost of physical access to the services is another barrier.
With that, the seminar aims to improve lives of women market vendors through better financial and business competencies.
It also aims to increase access by women market vendors to financial services such as credit, micro-insurance and livelihood protection.
Moreover to improve market venders’ business and leadership skills, increase production and incomes for producers, market venders and the vulnerable, and Improve knowledge management and production of knowledge products.
With that, the M4C through UN Women encourages market venders in Auki to access the services and information sessions provided at the market.
M4C is a UN Women project, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) implements the project’s second outcome.
They principally funded by the Australian Government, and since 2018 the project partnership has expanded to include funding support from the Government of Canada.
It is a six-year, multi-country initiative aims to ensure marketplaces in rural and urban settings of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory.
Additionally, to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.
UNDP is a key implementing partner.