Young entrepreneurs called on the government to support their goals and potential as business people at the closing ceremony of the Young Entrepreneurs Retail Skills Training Workshop last night.

Forty-five young people aged between 18 to 35 have spent the week in a workshop aiming to build their confidence and skills in retail and business.

The workshop was run by the Commonwealth Youth Programme South Pacific in association with UNDP's Pacific Centre and The Body Shop.

"It's been great to learn about the experiences of our Body Shop trainers and relate it back to our experiences and ways in the Solomons," said workshop participant and business woman Jessie Konofilia, who was one of the participant representatives.

"We now appeal to the government to support us - and any other young people - in using what we have learned. We can't do it without you," continued Ms Konofilia.

The aim of the five-day workshop is to strengthen the retail skills of young entrepreneurs and managers in the Solomon Islands. It is being conducted by consultant and business owner Mr Steve Cordeiro with the training support of managers from natural cosmetics and beauty chain The Body Shop, and with logistical support from CYP South Pacific and UNDP's Pacific Centre.

"This course has given us the tools of the trade to go out and realise out potential," said workshop participant and representative Mr Jim Rova. "We are agents of change."

Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce (SICCI) Program Coordinator, Mr Paul Amao last night showed SICCI's support for the group, announcing a new Young Entrepreneurs Sub-Committee to sit within the Chamber. The committee will be made up of a group from the workshop. The participants also received a year's free membership with SICCI.

Last night's ceremony also included a speech from Minister of Women, Youth and Children Honourable Peter Tom; and a showcase of the participant's retail skills.

Press Release (Commonwealth Youth Programme)