Council prioritizes small enterprises for economic development

May 15, 2024 12:39 pm

The Fiji Indigenous Business Council has announced plans to establish a Secretariat.

This entity will play a crucial role in managing and collecting data to inform strategic decisions including conducting surveys to identify areas of weakness and determine where emphasis should be placed in supporting indigenous businesses.

Highlighting the imperative of this initiative, FIBC President Ulaisi Taoi emphasized the need for a comprehensive approach to address the challenges faced by indigenous entrepreneurs.

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While historically focused on larger companies, he says the FIBC recognizes the potential for growth within Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Taoi states that the Council believe that this sector holds the key to unlocking substantial economic development.

He says that FIBC’s revised strategy aims to refocus efforts on inclusivity, acknowledging that a significant portion of indigenous businesses including women-led enterprises, homegrown businesses and market vendors were previously overlooked.

By regrouping, rethinking, and refocusing their approach, Taoi says FIBC is committed to creating a future in business that encompasses businesses of all sizes and backgrounds.

“It’s an important issue. Actually, it is a national issue that needs to be addressed. We think that by reviving the Fiji Indigenous Business Council after 10 years, we think that this is the right and correct platform to bring to light the challenges that we face. Now of course, as indigenous, there’s always this thing about kerekere, there’s this idiom, about, oh, you only start to fail. This kind of thing. We want to move away from that we want to shift we want to make a dramatic change in our thinking.”

Emphasizing the importance of patience and dedication in business growth, FIBC is drawing motivation from successful family businesses that started small and gradually expanded over time.

The Council has also emphasized the need for thorough management, observation and care in nurturing indigenous businesses toward larger-scale success.