“A lot of us small businesses in the provinces do not have access to such trainings and I believe this will go a long way in helping us manage our business effectively.”
Lucie Opaka is the owner of E7 Ventures, a small business operating in the Western Provincial capital of Gizo.
Ms Opaka was among other small businesses who participated in a business training focusing on ‘Bookkeeping and Basic Accounting’ hosted by the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) in Gizo from 21-24 May 2019.
“This was the first time for me to attend such trainings. The structure in which the training was delivered was good as it was easy for us to understand the content and the trainer was also helpful in answering our questions,” Ms Opaka said.
This training is part of SICCI’s continuous efforts to build and improve the capacity and ability of businesses to achieve their potential, in this case those in the provinces.
SICCI Membership and Services Officer, Naomi Mara says as the peak organization representing private sector, the Chamber aims to extend its reach to the provinces in order to better represent the Solomon Islands private sector.
“It is important for SICCI to support and provide an avenue for rural entrepreneurs to have access to trainings which will enable their businesses to grow and find out what support is available through their Chamber of Commerce.
“This is because businesses in the provinces often lack access to business networks and support systems as compared to businesses in Honiara,” Ms Mara said.
Ms Mara says to deliver these trainings, SICCI established relevant partnerships with training providers on behalf of its members.
The ‘Bookkeeping and Basic Accounting’ training was facilitated by the Solomon Islands Small Business Enterprise Centre (SISBEC).
SISBEC Manager, Ben Nginabule counts as a privilege to be engaged by SICCI to help build capacity for our provincial business operators.
“The training outcome is to help business operators to improve their financial record keeping so that they can have reliable financial reports to help them in managing their business effectively. This is a powerful tool as it can also help in growing their operations or expanding their business, as sound financial records are a prerequisite for financing by say, commercial banks,” Mr Nginabule said.
Christina Rence from the South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) Micro Finance Limited office in Gizo, who was also a participant in the training, says it was a good refresher for her having worked in a financial institution.
“There are certain areas relating to my work I did not fully understand which were also covered in this training. It was really helpful,” she said.
SICCI will be delivering a similar four-day training in Auki, Malaita Province next from 25-28 June 2018.
Ms Mara said during her trip to Auki last year, businesses there preferred a training on the topic ‘Bookkeeping and Basic Accounting’.
“We are planning another business training in Auki and we will work hard to make sure that our members and potentially new businesses, are aware of the intended benefits of the training.
“This initiative needs both the commitment of SICCI and local businesses. We also rely on the networks between the local business community in Auki. To make the training pay for itself, we are targeting at least twenty participants,” she said.
The fee for this four-day training is $800 per person.
“This $800 fee is a good deal that will result in directly beneficial skills being transferred to participants,” SICCI Membership and Services Officer, Ms Mara, said.
For enquiries about the Chamber’s upcoming training in Auki, interested businesses can call 39542 or visit the Secretariat’s office at Hyundai Mall Suite 223.