THE Young Entrepreneurs Council Solomon Islands (YECSI) was successfully launched on Friday, October 12, 2018 at the Mendana Hotel in Honiara.
When launching YECSI, Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela said YECSI is one of the first successful examples of an innovative Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative under the government’s PPP policy.
“The Establishment of YECSI, under the auspices of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) in partnership with the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) demonstrates this PPP approach.
“It is very heartening to note this partnership has further developed into more collaborative engagement, for example, through the establishment of the YECSI Advisory Committee,” PM Houenipwela said.
The SIG partners on this committee include the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA); Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI); Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT); Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL); the National Youth Congress (NYC) and the Youth@Work programme.
“YECSI will play a crucial role in helping to promote, coordinate and support the development of young entrepreneurs in the country.
“It offers a platform that will provide all young entrepreneurs a collective voice, and help them channel their collective efforts into supporting the socio-economic development of the country. YECSI will coordinate and support capacity building programmes for young entrepreneurs,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister assures that his Government recognises the value and potential that our young people possess.
“We believe that Solomon Islands economic prosperity lies with our youth population. Currently it is an untapped potential to power development into the future. Indeed, our youths underpin our economic engine – ready to engage and be engaged in development,” he said.
SICCI Chair, Jay Bartlett reiterates that it is only through the partnership between SICCI and Government through the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs that YECSI is possible.
“The partnership and support very much appreciated but I believe more can be done from both the Private Sector and Government.
“I believe YECSI has the potential to play a critical role in bringing together an inspiring group of young Solomon Islanders,” he said.
Mr Bartlett said YECSI is all about positioning our youth in a way so they have an opportunity to influence the decisions that will affect them.
“We must involve our youth in important discussions and nurture the partnership between youth, Government and business to find ways to meet the development challenges we face,” he said.
The SICCI Chair also congratulated the newly elected YECSI Board of Chairlady Millicent Barty, Vice Chair Chrisnrita Leong-Aumanu and board members Andrew Bouro, Gloria Hong and Solomon Chant.
“I believe under the leadership of Ms Barty and Coordinator John Wopereis, YECSI is in good hands,” he said.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Houenipwela urged the YECSI Board to work together, think together, strategise together and be effective representatives and ambassadors of our youths in the country.
“You can help unlock the doors that have been holding our young entrepreneurs back.
“Let me re-assure you that the Government is committed to creating opportunities to promote youth innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation. This is our pathway into the future,” the Prime Minister said.
YECSI currently has 60 members based in or operating their businesses in Malaita, Western, Renbel, Makira, Isabel and Honiara.
YECSI is a body that will assist in the promotion, development and provision of dedicated support services to young entrepreneurs in Solomon Islands. YECSI will bring young entrepreneurs together to be part of a larger group of young entrepreneurs.
It will support entrepreneurs in a range of areas including mentoring, coaching, business planning and facilitating business trainings where possible.
A huge part of YECSI mandate is to undertake advocacy on behalf of young entrepreneurs aimed at unlocking legislative, and policy constraints that are holding back opportunities for young Solomon Islanders.