Australian Business Volunteers and Pacific Islands Trade & Invest are pleased to announce that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together for the economic and sustainable development of Pacific islands countries.

Pacific Islands Trade & Invest (PT&I) is the international trade and investment promotion arm of the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat and is the region’s lead tourism promotion, export and investment facilitation agency. Australian Business Volunteers (ABV) has 34 years’ experience delivering a suite of programmes designed to build capacity of business across the Asia Pacific region.

The goal of the year-long partnership agreement will be to deliver a minimum of four Your Enterprise Scheme (YES) programs.

YES is ABV’s proven small group SME mentoring program. Designed by small business owners YES is delivered by volunteers for groups of 15 – 20 small business owners and managers. The program consists of five one-day workshops conducted over a four week period. One-on-one mentoring sessions are conducted between workshops to provide guidance to participants putting their new business skills and strategies into practice.

Key to the YES program’s effectiveness is its flexibility, with the content and level of each YES adapted to meet the particular needs of the participants and to align with partners and local government strategies to grow the SME sector. In the last year this has allowed ABV to deliver tailored YES programs to meet the needs of diverse business sectors including the Papua New Guinea ICT sector, East New Britain Province small businesses, and Papua New Guinean women business owners. Over the last decade ABV has delivered more than 30 similar programs across several Pacific islands countries

PT&I will be providing seed funding toward the four YES programs, and ABV is looking to engage other public and private funders to get the programs off the ground.

“It’s great to be partnering with PT&I – and particularly to deliver a proven and effective model of SME mentoring” said ABV CEO Sarah O’Connor.

Australian Business Volunteers