South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) Fiji and Australian Volunteers International (AVI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen women’s economic empowerment in the country through the Fiji Bloom programme. According to a SPBD statement, the program aims to transform informal women-owned businesses into formal business entities.
This objective would be achieved by providing access to business development support and acceleration services. Ipsita Wright, Executive Director of AVI International Services, said the partnership was based on mutual respect and trust was at the heart of everything they did at AVI.
“This fantastic partnership will help support the next phase of Fiji Bloom, creating new opportunities for women in Fiji to go beyond micro-enterprise and become formalized and successful small-medium business owners,” she said, Elrico Munoz, Managing Director of SPBD Fiji. the partnership provided them with a great opportunity to revive Fiji Bloom and work to empower their women entrepreneurs at a time when they needed it most.
The Fiji Bloom was first launched in 2019 before the COVID-19 outbreak and successfully completed its first cohort of 10 business accelerator graduates.
Now that COVID-19 restrictions have eased, AVI and SPBD Fiji will collectively focus on the economic recovery of these women entrepreneurs by providing financial and business development training in over 400 villages across Fiji.
AVI would also fundraise, mobilize volunteers and provide technical assistance to the Fiji Bloom program. Fiji Bloom has also been supported by the Financial Management Cousellors Association of Fiji (FMCAF) and the Women Entrepreneurs and Business Council (WEBC).