With the growing need for quality business advisers, the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) together with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI) this week conducted a training for Business Advisers.

These business advisers would be supporting development of our country’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The half-day training was hosted at Government’s ICT Compound in Lengakiki Ridge, West Honiara.

The training, which was free of charge for participants, included a presentation on the Micro-Small Medium Enterprise (MSME) framework that has been developed by the MCILI as well as compliance and relevant legislations applied to MSMEs and in particular, those wanting to become Business Advisers.

SICCI Membership and Services Officer, Ms Naomi Mara said the training also raised basic understanding of the key competencies for Business Advisers, and how Business Advisers can benefit from its partnership with Business Link Pacific (BLP).

SICCI recently signed on with BLP, a private sector development programme funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). BLP assists Small and Medium sized businesses across a range of sectors to access support from high quality, and approved business advice service providers in the Solomon Islands.

“We are pleased to partner with the Ministry of Commerce in delivering this training, as it translates a wish of the SICCI Board to continue serving our SMEs who make up seventy-percent of our membership,” Ms Mara said.

“At this time, companies and industry focus is mainly on surviving the tough business conditions being faced now, as such, this training was timely.

“The training is also a practical demonstration of the intention behind the MOU that we signed last week with Government,” she added.

Ms Mara said the participants understood the Government direction for MSME development in the country and they are aware that SICCI with this Business Link Partnership can be an immediate avenue to realise their urgent needs.

“We welcome queries from SMEs within our membership as well as outside of it.

“There are specialists available for SMEs to tap into if they would like to prepare their financial statements, plan their resourcing needs and so forth.

“It can be advice in areas of commercial law, in preparing business continuity plans, in preparing for negotiations for bank loans or government support, or if they want to better articulate cashflow goals and stresses as well as human resource management advice,” Ms Mara said.

The SICCI Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ms Atenasi Ata also commends the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration on going ahead with the implementation of its SME related work.

“It is important that government continues to progress critical support for this segment of private sector as they make up the largest number of employers, and are lifelines for households being largely family or private capital-owned as well.

“It is good that the fostering and incubating of enterprise is captured in Government policy, however, it is but one aspect of remaining a viable business in the country.

“We look forward to continuing to relay through mediums available to us, the experiences SMEs face with costs of doing business, this is another aspect of our advocacy efforts,” the SICCI CEO said.

The training was opened by the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI), Mr Riley Mesepitu.

It was attended by a total of twenty-eight (28) participants, and the day’s program featured sessions such as the new MSME framework, compliance and competency for Business Advisory Services Providers and relevant legislation.

Presenters were from the Ministry of Commerce, and from Business Link Pacific.

Source: SICCI Media