New inclusive development program for Fiji exceeds expectations

One month into delivering ABV’s  latest business capability development program with the Pacific’s largest regional bank, Bank of South Pacific (BSP), ABV’s Skilled Business Professional Kaylene Benson says the Fiji-based program has already exceeded expectations.  

Preparing for her trip back to Australia following an intensive workshop period for 21 promising local business owners, Kaylene describes the program, FijiTHRIVE, as achieving 10 out of 10.  

“It’s actually widely exceeded expectations and shows what you can bring about when you elevate people,” she said.  

“One of the participants said they’ve been unable to sleep with so many ideas. She’d stayed up all night on her plan. It’s pretty good proof of the energy and focus that people have found.”  

The intensive workshop series in Suva is just one part of the 12-month program that provides small business owners with ongoing individual coaching and business mentorship by ABV’s experienced business volunteers.  

A co-designed program with BSP focusing on real-time support needs of their clients, the facilitators meet with each participant before the training to ensure that ABV’s comprehensive training materials and business management tools are specifically tailored to meet the needs of the individual businesses involved.  

“Some have come to us as sole traders who are still working out what their business offering looks like, and others have an established cash flow and customer base,” Kaylene says.  

“It’s all about listening to where they’re at and taking them to that next level. That can mean identifying what’s not profitable or looking at new avenues of operating altogether.”   

Viviane Wade (pictured below), owner and director of Suva based refurbished furniture and home decoration store, says the ability to have external input and support has been invaluable. 

“FijiTHRIVE is phenomenal,” Viviane says. “They’ve shown us ways to look at our business in a different light. It was nice to step out and look at your business from an outside perspective looking in.”

With a number of women-led businesses, FijiTHRIVE draws on the potential of micro and small to medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to deliver locally-owned and inclusive economic growth for Fiji in the years to come. 

Find out more on FijiTHRIVE and register your interest to volunteer with ABV today. 

Pictured in header image: Aachaal Reddy from Sweet Sip, Liz Mackinlay ABV CEO, Shivanagani Kumar from Satrupa's Investments.

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