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Tuvalu entrepreneurs empowered through training

Participants of the Training of Trainers, Funafuti, Tuvalu. © ILO
FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu (ILO News) – In a joint effort to empower entrepreneurs across diverse sectors in Tuvalu, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has partnered with the Government of Tuvalu to conduct a Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop on the ILO's Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) tools.

The training aligns closely with the national development plan, “Te Kete”, which recognizes the crucial role of the private sector in Tuvalu's economic growth. It also emphasizes the importance of continuous capacity-building programmes to empower Tuvaluan entrepreneurs and encourage the formalization of the economy.

SIYB, one of the world's largest business management training initiatives, aims to assist entrepreneurs in starting and expanding their businesses, ultimately creating more and better employment opportunities. Through the TOT workshop, business development and financial support providers in Tuvalu acquired the necessary skills and resources to deliver training to aspiring and existing entrepreneurs.

According to Mr. Afaaso Aperaamo of the Development Bank of Tuvalu, "The business landscape in Tuvalu presents significant challenges. Our aim should be to turn these challenges into business opportunities for entrepreneurs. Through this workshop, we've gained the tools not only to recognize these challenges but also to generate business ideas that can address them. Either we seize the opportunities that these challenges offer or face their negative consequences."

During the eight-day workshop, seven women and seven men successfully obtained certification as SIYB trainers. With the newly acquired skills and knowledge, these certified trainers are now equipped to guide entrepreneurs in establishing and growing their ventures, contributing to the creation of new decent and green jobs and enhancing economic development in Tuvalu.

According to Mr. Tagaloa Peiaun from the Tuvalu Chamber of Commerce, "This workshop guided participants through all the essential steps to establish a successful business, from creating a business plan to developing an effective marketing strategy. It's not just about having a concept and registering your business."

Workshop participant engaged in a business simulation game, Funafuti, Tuvalu. © ILO
A highlight of the workshop was a business simulation game that reflected real-world business dynamics. This interactive game allowed participants to immerse themselves in the challenges of entrepreneurship, requiring them to plan, organize, produce, compete, negotiate, and cooperate. Through this exercise, participants gained deeper insights into the entrepreneurial ecosystem and developed skills to navigate both challenges and opportunities.

Given Tuvalu's extreme vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters, as well as the growing importance of the digital economy, the workshop also prioritized green practices and emerging digital technologies as strategies for enhancing business resilience.

Workshop participants engaged in collaborative group activities. © ILO
Initiated by the Department of Business under the Ministry of Finance, the workshop took place at the Tomasi Puapua Convention Centre in Funafuti from 11 to 20 September 2023 and engaged a diverse spectrum of stakeholders, including the Tuvalu Chamber of Commerce, Tuvalu National Private Sector Organization (TNPSO), Development Bank of Tuvalu, Government departments such as Tourism, Business, Gender Affairs, and Youth, as well as the Tuvalu Island Council and Tuvalu Women for Change (CSO).