NATION

Grants Handout Total $18.3M

The Fiji Government has as­sisted 19,548 small business­es around the country and disbursed FJD$18.3million since the launch of the Micro and Small Business Grants Disbursements (MSBG) in 2015. This was
24 May 2018 11:00
Grants Handout Total $18.3M
Relieved farmer Anil Kumar receives lease from Minister for Trade, Tourism, Lands and Minerals Faiyaz Koya in Ba, on May 23, 2018. Photos: Peni Komaisavai

The Fiji Government has as­sisted 19,548 small business­es around the country and disbursed FJD$18.3million since the launch of the Micro and Small Business Grants Disbursements (MSBG) in 2015.

This was confirmed by the Min­ister for Industry, Tourism, Trade, Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Siddiq Koya during the MSBG Disbursement event at the Ba Market Grounds yesterday.

A total of 1039 new MSBG ap­plicants received their grants in addition to 85 business rehabilita­tion recipients, whose businesses were severely affected by tropical cyclones Winston, Josie and Keni.

“At the conclusion of today’s event the total number of business­es assisted will increase to 19,548 around the country and a disburse­ment total of FJD$18.3million,” Mr Koya said.

He said the programme was one of Government’s most important initiatives, championed by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and successfully implemented by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The MSBG has achieved an out­standing 80.3 per cent success rate, which is an exceptional per­formance that surpasses interna­tional benchmarks for success in Small Medium Enterprise (SME) development.

He said this meant Fijians sup­ported by the MSBG initiative were enterprisingly thinking of their fu­ture and that of their families.

“These are the individuals who want to make a difference, we want all Fijians to think big, to have a vision for their future,” Mr Koya said.

He said companies such as Tap­poo, Jack’s and RC Manubhai were some examples of successful com­panies that started small and grew to the large, reputable companies they are today.

“I want to remind you recipients present today that you can start small, but think big. Your forward thinking enables you to reach that level where you will become an effective contributor towards im­proving Fiji’s economy and we as your government are here to sup­port you wherever we can.”

MSME ENGINE FOR GROWTH

“MSMEs are the engine of growth for developing countries as it con­tributes to employment creation, linkage to large companies and positive impact in our rural com­munities and MSMEs are the bed­rock for innovation and new ide­as,” Mr Koya said.

GOVERNMENT TO INCREASE

MSMEs

The Tourism and Trade Minister said one of Government’s key stra­tegic priorities was increasing the participation of Fiji’s MSMEs in global value chains or GVCs.

According to Mr Koya they would provide small business owners with an opportunity to access fu­ture financing through a commer­cial bank.

This would be made possible through their partnership with the Fiji Development Bank (FDB).

GRANTS MONITORING,

ASSESSMENT

“With the issuance of your grants today, your respective files will be opened with your respective FDB branches and the progress of your businesses will be monitored in six months,” Mr Koya told recipients.

Businesses found to have shown signs of progress and have dou­bled or tripled these investments by Government, will be graduated to levels where they are eligible for small business loans with the FDB.

He said the ministry’s support did not end there, but rather monitor­ing exercises would be undertaken.

“To gauge the impact of the fund­ing on your businesses our depart­ments such as Cooperatives and the Integrated Human Resource Devel­opment Programme which provide training on starting and improving your businesses and teaches grant recipients business fundamentals and skills,” Mr Koya said.

He said the support mechanisms in place demonstrated that this was not a handout, but an initiative by Government to ensure that re­cipients’ businesses would be sus­tainable in the long run through further capacity building and tar­geted support.

“Your Fijian Government does not only make promises, but turns promises into deeds,” Mr Koya said.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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