Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Australia has opened applications for a new tailored Social Media for e-Business professional development scholarship, designed specifically for businesses across the Pacific region.

As the region navigates a new ‘COVID normal’ world, PTI Australia identified a digital capability gap within Pacific businesses and has designed a six-week practical professional development program.

The program builds on the successful one-day PTI Australia Social Media Masterclass. The six-week program will deepen the knowledge and extend the practical skills of participants enabling them to effectively use social media to grow their business.

Focusing initially on the Smaller Island States with the intention of expanding the program across the region, the bespoke Pacific-focused course is delivered online through a combination of pre-recorded video modules and live classes.

The program was designed through extensive consultation with the private sector to ensure all components are relevant, accessible and easy to apply said Caleb Jarvis, Trade & Investment Commissioner of PTI Australia.

“We know that a significant number of SMEs across the Pacific are experiencing and being limited by a digital skills gap to effectively engage in e-commerce. This is an amazing opportunity for Pacific businesses as it is the first of its kind, combining world-class and up-to-date learnings that have been tailored specifically for businesses professionals in the Pacific,” said Caleb.

“According to our 2020 Pacific Islands Export Survey, 31 per cent of Pacific exporters that don’t use digital channels said it was due to a lack of skills. This represents a significant opportunity for these businesses to take advantage of these tools and positively impact their communities through increased sales that will flow into the local economy.”

The program is being headed by Cath Cooksley-Little, General Manager – Marketing, Communications & Tourism. PTI Australia has collaborated with a digital marketing and social media expert to custom design the program, which covers three courses on social media marketing foundations, free social media growth strategies and blueprints for profitable social media advertising.

“Currently there’s a lack of in-depth professional development training available in the Pacific providing practical skills in how to apply e-commerce solutions such as social media,” said Cath

“Social media is a platform that is constantly evolving and changing, that’s why we have partnered with an expert who is one of only eight Facebook trainers in Australasia and the Pacific, so we can keep abreast of the changes and update the course material accordingly. It’s a very tailored program, each cohort will have a maximum of 12 participants to ensure the course is interactive and we can provide one-to-one feedback to participants.”

The launch of the Social Media for e-Business program extends PTI Australia’s support for businesses in the Pacific as they rebuild from COVID-19. During 2020 the organisation launched the Pacific Business Monitor, a monthly survey to track the ongoing effects of COVID-19 on the Pacific's private sector. Based on insights from the survey, PTI Australia implemented a Digital Tourism COVID-19 Support Package transformed, tailored the PTI Australia e-Commerce Connector Series of workshops and introduced a new on-demand Learning Hub to make digital learning easier for Pacific tourism operators.

To apply for PTI Australia’s Social Media for e-Business professional development course, please visit

Applications close 24 January 2021.

Source: PTI Australia


Founded in 1979, PTI Australia is an agency of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. Funded by the Australian Government, it facilitates trade and investment in the Pacific Islands.