A Young Entrepreneurs Retail Skills Training workshop was officially opened this morning at the Commonwealth Youth Program area at Panatina.

The workshop is jointly organized by the Commonwealth Youth Programme South Pacific, the UNDP and the Body Shop and is expected to run over five days.

The Body Shop in Australia represents one of the most successful retail brands in the world and the company shows strong commitment to the community an ethical trade while empowering communities and conserving nature.

The workshop is mainly aimed at young people who have existing small businesses and would like to learn how to expand and sustain it.

Mr. Sushil Ram, the Workshop Coordinator, stated that when they advertised for the workshop, they received 110 applicants but were only able to cater for 40 participants.

Mr. Ram said that there are many young people in the Solomon Islands who have interests in starting a business which was "..obvious from the number of applicants that we had received," he added.

Mr. Ram emphasized that in the Solomon Islands, 80% of small business failed after two years.

However, he told Solomon Times that there were a few reasons to these kinds of problems which was why they came up with an idea for such workshops.

Youths were chosen mainly because they have the enthusiasm and potential to work towards successful businesses.

"The society need to accept the fact that young people are the present and also the future, they are the key to development in business industry in the country," concludes Mr. Sushil Ram.

The workshop will conclude on Friday the 29th.