Deputy Prime Minister Manoa Kamikamica says finances has always been a challenge for many potential Micro Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SME’s) in Fiji.
Speaking at the Australian Business Volunteers Development Program, Kamikamica said it was necessary for financial institutions to take the lead role in the development of MSME’s, in order to ultimately build them to access finances for their businesses.
Kamikamica said the Fiji Development Bank recently launched the online financial literacy tool in collaboration with Visa, to educate Fijians on financial management in order to help them learn the basics of starting a business, managing it efficiently and to eventually take it to the next level.
“Through this digital program, people are empowered to unlock the fundamentals of financial management, so that they are able to make informed financial decisions and run their businesses efficiently and sustainably in the long run.”
Kamikamica also highlighted that as the Minister Responsible for SME’s, he was encouraged to note that of the 326 businesses created under the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, 75 per cent were women entrepreneurs.
He said these women entrepreneurs represents a wide array of sectors, ranging from small retail convenience shops, beauty and fashion, medical services, online shops, vehicle repairs and tourism.
Kamikamica said these are investments from the private sector that the Government seeks to foster.
“We all have an equal part to play in rebuilding, and having a great understanding of supporting MSME’s is pivot.”
Kamikamica added that business development services were pivotal to entrepreneurs to run their business more effectively.
“If appropriately applied, it can act as an enhancer of access to finance and as an alternative form of collateral in circumstances where tangible collateral may be an impediment to meeting traditional security requirements,” Kamikamica said.