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PM Reminds SMEs: You Are Equally Important

The Prime Minister yesterday encouraged micro, small and medium enterprises saying however small their business may be, they are already contributing to our growth. The micro, small and medium enterprises
08 Jul 2015 12:13
PM Reminds SMEs: You Are Equally Important
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama delivering his speech during the SME Business Grant handing over yesterday. Photo: Rachael Nath

The Prime Minister yesterday encouraged micro, small and medium enterprises saying however small their business may be, they are already contributing to our growth.

The micro, small and medium enterprises sector contributes about 12 per cent of our gross domestic product or $800 million annually.

“Many have gone before you and built successful businesses in Fiji,” Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said.

His comments came as government handed out $1000 each to 331 small to medium enterprises under Government SME business grant programme.

The total amount given as grant was $330,000.

“Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises can also be places of great innovation in a modern economy – offering new products, services and production techniques.” He said.

He urged them all to give full rein to their imaginations.

“We look to you – as well as our places of learning – to fulfil our vision of a clever country,” he said.

“To take Fiji – as well as your business – to the next level. To work with Government, larger businesses, civil society and every Fijian to make our beloved nation great.

But, Mr Bainimarama felt a significant amount of their contribution is going unrecorded.

“So by putting your own business on a more formal footing, we hope to be able to calculate the real value of your contribution to the Fijian economy,” he said.

 

Going to next level

Government hopes to give the means to take the SME businesses – however small – to the next level.

Mr Bainimarama said this is: “To invest in them. To make them grow. To give them more opportunity to ride the wave of prosperity that our expanding economy is now providing.”

“We are sowing a large number of seeds today. In the nature of things, some of these seeds may wither and die.

“But we are convinced that a large number of them will take root.

“And with the assistance we are providing, these businesses will flourish and thrive on the enterprise and dedication of the ordinary men and women you see all around you today.”

 

The initiative

The Micro Small Business Grant was announced in the 2015 budget.

It is targeted at the grassroots in Fiji to nurture individuals with special skill sets, whether they are crafts people, carpenters or small scale farmers.

Mr Bainimarama said their original aim with this programme was to provide 1000 recipients with $1000 each to plough into their respective ventures.

“But the response has been so overwhelming, we have decided to dramatically expand the programme,” he said.

“Incredibly, we received a total of 25,789 applications. And after the selection process, we have found that 7661 of these applicants qualify for the Grant.

“So it is only fair to assist as many of those people as possible – if not all of them – with additional allocations to the programme.”

“There will be other events like this around the country as we assist those Fijians living outside the capital and its surroundings.

“If your name doesn’t appear in today’s announcement, don’t be discouraged. There is still a chance that you have qualified.”

Feedback: rachael.nath@fijisun.com.fj

 

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