The Enterprise Challenge Fund was officially launched at the Jina's Restaurant, Kukum Highway in the eastern part of Honiara.

The Enterprise Challenge Fund was a program which is initiated by the Australian AID together with the Australian Government.

The ECF Country Manager for Solomon Islands is Mr. Bob Pollard and the program is to help people in the Pacific and South East Asia.

ECF was established mainly to encourage the businesses in the country to develop viable commercial projects that increases the income, improved the livelihoods and good access to the local community's services.

Speaking at the launch yesterday, the Director of ECF, John Hardin said that the establishment is a real opportunity for Solomon Islanders to receive tangible, practical assistance from Australia.

Mr. Hardin said that Solomon Islanders should take up the available opportunity and make use of it by developing businesses using the country's rich resources.

The ECF is an open competition that has several bidding rounds in each country in the Asia Pacific Region.

It was said during the launching that the ECF will make more assistance for the benefits of the poor people both in the South East Asia and the Pacific.

They believed that the program will run to help people and continue to grow successfully in the future which the people will continue to benefit from.

One of their main goals is to help the Private Sector to develop commercially successful ventures that would not get the chance to go to market.

The bidding for Solomon islanders' prospective businesses will open on the 1st of April and close on the 30th of June 2008.